About the Artist


"I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 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, which I enjoyed 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. The odd and delightful students at Lawrence inspired the paintings and digital art I made there. Meanwhile, I interned at Johnson Controls as an engineering assistant and graphic designer. 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 scorned and praised my cut-out portraits and Plexiglas paintings.

  Head Shot

"I entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison MFA program in 2004, where I continued to develop my brand of narrative cut-out art. 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, where I served as treasurer and patronage chair. Meanwhile, I developed a body of light box artwork that continues today.  Further career developments have brought us to Arlington, VA, where I am continuing my art practice.  Here, I have taught at US Arts Center, Arlington Arts Center, and Georgetown University.  I have also presented solo exhibits at Hilyer Art Space, Arlington Arts Center, and Artisphere."

        All images Copyright 2016, Melanie Kehoss