Melissa Messina is an independent curator with over 15 years of curatorial, programming, writing and arts administration experience. The Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate since 2013, Messina has received a Creative Time | Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant to conduct research toward a forthcoming article on the life and work of Thompson and was invited to participate in the Winter 2015 Independent Curator International (ICI) Curatorial Intensive to present her work on the subject in New Orleans.


As the former Senior Curator at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Messina curated solo exhibitions in Savannah and Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France, for such artists as Nick Cave, Teresita Fernández, Wayne Gonzales, Whitfield Lovell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Shinique Smith, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, and Wendy White, as well as the photography exhibition "Room In My Head: Staging Psychological Spaces" and the group exhibition "The Spirituality of Place," among others. Since the opening of the SCAD Museum of Art in 2011, Messina has curated solo exhibitions for such esteemed artists as Uta Barth, Lynda Benglis, Matthew Brandt, Ingrid Calame, Nicola López, Jason Middlebrook, Alex Prager, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Ursula Von Rydingsvard, and the group exhibition "Stretching the Limits: Fibers in Contemporary Painting."


Prior to SCAD, Messina was the National Program Director for ArtTable, during which time she developed the public programs for Prospect.1 New Orleans biennial. She has been a guest curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where she formerly held a post during the Center’s opening in 2007. And in her early career in Atlanta, she worked for the art consulting firm Barkin-Leeds, Ltd. and was a frequent guest curator for the Office of Cultural Affairs.


Selected publications include: “Walking Around in a Garden: Prints by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond,” (forthcoming); “Alison Elizabeth Taylor Brings It to the Table” online essay for artcore journal, and the exhibition catalogue curatorial essays “Alexandre Arrechea: The Rules of Play;” “Clare Rojas: Through the Woods;” “Chakaia Booker: Sustain;” “Youssef Nabil: I Live Within You;” and “Mercy, Patience and Destiny: The Women of Whitfield Lovell’s Tableaux.”


She earned an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute and a B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art, where she was a student and mentee of Mildred Thompson. Messina divides her time between Savannah, Atlanta, and New York, NY.


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