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  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_magpie_37x60
    "Magpie," acrylic on canvas, 37" x 60”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_push-the-river_48x44
    "Push the River," acrylic on canvas, 48” x 44”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_alert-and-courteous_60x37
    "Alert and Courteous," acrylic on canvas, 60” x 37”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_dancing-at-story-booth_48x44
    "Dancing at Story Booth," acrylic on canvas, 48” x 44”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-lost-year_30x48
    "The Lost Year," acrylic on canvas, 30” x 48”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_my-dog-swallowed-my-anger_54x46
    "My Dog Swallowed My Anger," acrylic on canvas, 54” x 46”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_corn-nut-girl_48x32
    "Corn Nut Girl," acrylic on canvas, 48” x 32"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_waterfall_48x60
    "Waterfall," acrylic on canvas, 48" x 60"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_trixie-pancho-and-lefty_30x48
    "Trixie, Pancho, and Lefty," acrylic on canvas, 30” x 48”
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_eight-weeks-5_8x10
    "Eight Weeks #5," acrylic on canvas, 8" x 10"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_next_to_yesterday_40x48
    "Next to Yesterday," acrylic on canvas, 40" x 48"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_in-between-stories_48x36
    "In Between Stories," acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-singing-house_36x36
    "The Singing House," acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-flat-world-is-curved_36x36
    "The Flat World is Curved, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_gloria's-kitchen_48x48
    "Just Outside Gloria's Kitchen," acrylic on canvas, 48” x 48"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_milkweed-by-the-fence_48x60
    "Milkweed by the Fence," acrylic on canvas, 60" x 48"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_making-room-inside-my-room_24x24
    "Making Room Inside My Room," acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_raparian-summer_24x24
    "Riparian Summer," acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-next-three-days_34x38
    "The Next Three Days," acrylic on canvas, 34" x 38"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_i-weave-the-song-of-myself_48x48
    "I Weave the Song of Myself," acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_mclemore-avenue_24x24
    "McLemore Avenue," acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_our-morning-walk-around_18x18
    "Our Morning Walk Around," acrylic on canvas, 18" x 18"
  • l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-anchored_38x34
    "The Anchored," acrylic on canvas, 38" x 34"
l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_magpie_37x60 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_push-the-river_48x44 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_alert-and-courteous_60x37 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_dancing-at-story-booth_48x44 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-lost-year_30x48 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_my-dog-swallowed-my-anger_54x46 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_corn-nut-girl_48x32 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_waterfall_48x60 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_trixie-pancho-and-lefty_30x48 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_eight-weeks-5_8x10 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_next_to_yesterday_40x48 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_in-between-stories_48x36 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-singing-house_36x36 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-flat-world-is-curved_36x36 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_gloria's-kitchen_48x48 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_milkweed-by-the-fence_48x60 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_making-room-inside-my-room_24x24 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_raparian-summer_24x24 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-next-three-days_34x38 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_i-weave-the-song-of-myself_48x48 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_mclemore-avenue_24x24 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_our-morning-walk-around_18x18 l-ross-gallery_melissa-dunn_the-anchored_38x34


I see the world through shapes.  What fascinates me about a circle, square, or triangle is its mutability when it comes in contact with color, pattern, and placement. I do a lot of drawing to explore these relationships, and once I’ve hit on a compelling configuration I’ll draw it repeatedly so it’s a part of my muscle memory as I paint.  My paintings vary from one shape scenario to another, but what connects them is my relationship to color. Source materials for the colors I choose are everywhere – from childhood photographs with 70s oranges, to a piece of wallpaper, to drag makeup tutorials on YouTube.  The way I use color to push, pull, and manipulate shapes is hopefully an entryway into an experience.

Whatever the formal drive and preoccupations of my work, it is ultimately emotionally engaged.  My purpose is to imbue love into the act of making with the hope that somehow that intention will find its way into a greater good. I tend to keep this part of my practice, which comes directly from my heart, private.  It’s vulnerable, personal, and sentimental.  But in these divided times, where empathy and connection are being drowned out by fear, it feels important to acknowledge that as my mind studies shape’s relationship to color, in my heart I repeat the mantra “love, love, love, love.”


Melissa Dunn: Education and Honors

University of Memphis, BA, 1994


Melissa Dunn: Selected Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions
Love Song, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2017
You, Me, and Us, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2014
Old Bridge, New Bridge, Delta Arts Gallery, West Memphis, AR, 2013
Looking for One Thing, Finding Another, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN, 2011
Foster Ave. Paintings, Material Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2007
38 N. McLean Paintings, Material Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2005
To Bavaria, Swampland, Regensburg, Germany, 2000
Recent Work, Otherlands, Memphis, TN, 1998
New Paintings and Prints, Otherlands, Memphis, TN, 1996
Selected Group Exhibitions
Holiday Group Exhibition, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2016
Assembled, ArtsMemphis, Memphis, TN, 2016
Coat Check, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2016
No: 10. Anniversary Show, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2016
Summer Group Exhibition, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2012-2016
Terrain Biennial, Kyle Stratham’s Front Yard, Memphis, TN, 2015
Holiday Group Exhibition, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2011-2014
Pandora’s Child, Clough Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 2014
Inspired Resistance, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN, 2014
Present Tense, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, TN, 2013
Material Anthology, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN, 2013
Pyramid Scheme, Leadership Memphis, Memphis, TN, 2013
Works on Paper, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2012
I Can See Your House From the Highway, L Ross Gallery, 2012
August Paper Show, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2011
The Art of Science, Rozelle Arts Guild and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, 2011
Permission to Roam, Levy Gallery, Buckman Performing Arts Center, Memphis, TN, 2011
We Like Each Other, Marxhausen Gallery of Art, Seward, NE, 2010
52nd Annual Delta Exhibit, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, 2010
Contemporary Abstraction, Amanda Schedler Fine Art, Birmingham, AL, 2009
Fourth Annual U8l, Sopa Fine Arts, Kelowna, BC, Canada, 2009
Tennessee Abstract Painting, Cheekwood Museum, Nashville, TN, 2009
Price Is Right, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2008
Class of 2007, Lantana Projects, Memphis, TN, 2007
Annual Winter Group Exhibition, Second Floor Contemporary, Memphis, TN, 2005
Art Farm Group Exhibition, Art Farm Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2001
New Artists 2, Delta Axis @ Marshall Arts, Memphis, TN, 2000
SOMA Group Show, Troy Glasgow Images, Memphis, TN, 1999
White Trash/Black Velvet, Tobey Gallery, Memphis, TN, 1996
New Absurdist, Marshall Arts, Memphis, TN, 1994
Windows and Walls, Rainbo Club, Chicago, IL, 1992


Melissa Dunn: Public Collections

Iberia Bank, Memphis, TN
NFC Investments, Memphis, TN
Orion Federal Credit Union, Memphis, TN
Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis, Commission in honor of Dr. Rosie P. Bingham


Melissa Dunn: Publications

Fredric Koeppel, “Melissa Dunn paints ‘Love Song’ to artistic world at L Ross Gallery,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, Mar 10, 2017
Dwayne Butcher, “Art of Politics,” The Memphis Flyer, Mar 2, 2017
Pinch Literary Journal, Spring 2016
Fredric Koeppel, “Pen & Brush,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, January 2, 2015
Fredric Koeppel, “Works Confirm Mastery of Color, Space,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, Nov 2014
Chris Davis, “We Recommend: You, Me, Us,” The Memphis Flyer, Memphis, TN, Nov 2014
Eileen Townsend, “Artists on their Dream Space, Part 2,” The Memphis Flyer, Memphis, TN, Sept 2014
Dwayne Butcher, “The End: A Recap of Art in Memphis in 2012,” The Memphis Flyer, Memphis, TN, Dec 2012
Fredric Koeppel, “Year’s Top Exhibitions Rife with Revelations,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, Dec 2012
Fredric Koeppel, “Domestic Focus for Colorists,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, June 2012
Fredric Koeppel, “Unexpected Elegance arises from Abstraction,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, Nov 2011
Fredric Koeppel, “Group Exhibits Show Galleries’ Full Diversity,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, Aug 2011
Fredric Koeppel, “Artist Does Much With Color,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 2007
Chris Davis, “Material Man – A New Art Space Showcases the works of Melissa Dunn,” The Memphis Flyer, Dec. 10, 2005
Bluff: Memphis Arts Papers, (cover illustration) Fall 2000