Melissa was born and raised in Dover, Delaware to a lawyer father and artist mother. She learned an appreciation for history and travel from her father and love of beauty and nature from her mother. Melissa attended public grade school and later St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware.
After graduation, Melissa moved to western Massachusetts to attend Hampshire College and while living here, married and gave birth to her son. The young family soon moved to Boston for graduate school and she quickly learned that the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain was the ideal place to raise her child. This diverse neighborhood was home to many artists as well as rich in park land and green space. The neighborhood became a source of inspiration for her and introduced her to community-based arts and film projects.
In the early 90s, Melissa attended Boston University's graduate film program. Initially interested in producing documentaries, she expanded into narrative works and started to write screenplays; incorporating her love of story telling and visual sense in the medium of film.
While film continues to be one of Melissa's creative mediums, over the past 15 years, she has moved into painting and printmaking. She paints with both oils and egg tempera and has explored almost every technique of printmaking available.
Today, Melissa focuses primarily on etching and aquatint, but has recently begun to use more color and has found that silkscreen allows her to create bold works with brilliant colors.
Melissa is influenced by her love of nature and travel. Her daily walks are constant sources of inspiration and whenever she can, she travels to Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. She has had the opportunity to travel to Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Iceland, Jamaica, and many countries throughout Europe and North America. Meeting and interacting with new people and cultures influences her work from the Mexican retablos to Cuban Santeria idolatry to Irish Celtic art.
Melissa opened Ink 311 Print Studio in 2012 and here she welcomes other fellow artists and teaches printmaking to the community. She is a life-long learner and loves to share her knowledge with others. In addition to her MFA in film, she has a Masters of Art in Teaching from Boston University and is certified to teach both US and World History as well as Visual Art and Filmmaking.