Melissa Small is an emerging contemporary still life oil painter based in the New York. She attended Hartwick College where she studied Visual Arts and Education. Melissa graduated from Hartwick in 2008 with her Bachelor of Arts in studio arts and obtained her New York State Teacher’s Certification in Visual Arts K-12 in 2009. Melissa moved west to San Francisco in 2009 to study painting at the Academy of Art University where she received her Master of Fine Arts in fine art in 2012.
Melissa's current work playfully addresses female identities that are expressed through what they wear. Her work is heavily influenced by her love for journal writing, and text within her paintings promotes thoughtfulness. Melissa's still life series, Layers of Vanity, depicts an abundance of make-up, jewelry, and shoes. These objects encourage viewers to think about the actions taken to accentuate or conceal parts of oneself. Her painting application, color and subject choices work together to create luscious paintings that celebrate self-expression.