About the Artist


"I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the close of the 70's, and raised in one of the city's North Shore suburbs. The elder of two girls, I enjoyed the distinction of having a stay-at-home dad. My mother, an engineer by day, spent many weekends painting, drawing, and doing other projects with my sister and me. My parents also encouraged me to pursue math, science, literature, and music, and being a self-proclaimed nerd, I enjoyed those subjects well enough. Instinctively, though, I pursued visual art with the greatest zeal.


"In 1998, I enrolled at my first choice school, Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. I studied under a continually shifting, yet gifted faculty, including Alice Case, Kasarian Dane, Scott Espeseth, Yumi Roth, Charles Tim-Ballard, and Amy Hauber. I re-learned how to draw, and went on to emphasize in painting and digital art. The odd and delightful students at Lawrence inspired much of the work I made there, while the strong academics fed my other interests. Meanwhile, I interned at Johnson Controls as an engineering assistant and graphic designer (much to my mother's delight). I continued at Johnson for two years after graduating, making and showing art on the side. I spent a month at the Vermont Studio Center, where master artists alternately bashed and praised my cut-out portraits and Plexiglas paintings. It was an excellent primer for grad school.

 Head Shot

"I was accepted into University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004, where I continued to develop my brand of narrative cut-out art. While my work never fit clearly into one of the art department's three areas (2D, 3D, and graphics), I took advantage of the ambiguity by taking classes and working with faculty in all of them. A workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Craft inspired my use of paint swatches as a medium/subject for my thesis show in May, 2007. After graduating, I remained in Madison for over two years, doing public art projects, teaching Continuing Education, and commuting 100 miles each way to teach at Carthage College.

"In 2008, I met my husband, Kaveh, whose career brought us to Orange County, California. I became affiliated with Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, which I continue to serve as a member and patronage chair. Further career developments have now brought us to Arlington, VA, where I am continuing my art practice.  Here, I have taught classes at US Arts Center, Arlington Arts Center, and Georgetown University."

        All images Copyright 2013, Melanie Kehoss