For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Melissa Cooke

2011: Masters of Fine Arts, Studio Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2006: Bachelor's of Fine Art, Studio Art and Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Koplin Del Rio, Los Angeles, CA
Jenkins Johnson, New York, NY

Upcoming: 2011-2012 Artist-In-Residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE
2009: BLINK Grant Recipient, Madison Arts Commission, Madison, WI
2006: Paradise Lost Fellowship, Climate Change Artist
2005-2006: Class of 1930 Purchase Award, Memorial Union, Madison, WI
2005: Betty J. Frazier Scholarship, Madison, WI
2005: Emerging Artist Award, The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts, Oconomowoc, WI
2004: Catherine Esther Hokin Memorial Scholarship, Madison, WI
2004: Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
2003-2004: Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Scholarship, Oconomowoc, WI

2008-Present: Graduate Degree and Student Coordinator, University of Wisconsin Art Department, Madison, WI
2006-2008: Teaching Assistant, Instructor of Record, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
2006-2008: Instructor, Wisconsin Union and UW Continuing Education, Madison, WI
2004-2008: Art Instructor, PEOPLE Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
2005-2006: Studio Assistant at Silver Buckle Press, Madison, WI

2007- 2006: Judge for the Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts Scholarship, Oconomowoc, WI
2006: President of Fresh Hot Press, University of Wisconsin-Madison Print Club, Madison, WI
2006: Southern Graphics Council Conference Planning and Organization Assistant, Madison, WI
2004: Poster Designer for Clean Wisconsin, Madison, WI


Melissa Cooke is a young, up-and-coming player on the international art scene. Her powdered graphite on paper works explore themes of beauty, fantasy, violence, and identity, with the artist casting herself as subject in a myriad of thematic scenarios. Her work confronts the viewer, both with scale and stirring reflections of relationships, sexuality and gender. Her drawings are attracting attention from major art galleries, museums and collectors in Chicago, LA and NYC. Cooke is represented by Koplin Del Rio in Los Angeles, CA and Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York, NY. Her work has been exhibited in "The Wisconsin Triennial" at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, “To See Ourselves As Others See Us” at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, "On Paper" at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York, and "West Coast Drawings VIII" at the Davidson Galleries in Seattle, Washington, The Miami Art Fair, The LA Art Show and PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in New York. Cooke's first major solo show "You Know Me Better Than I Know Myself" was exhibited at Koplin Del Rio in 2010. Cooke's drawings are in collections such as the Arkansas Art Center, the Howard Tullman Collection, the Wisconsin Union Permanent Art Collection, the Boston Public Library Print Collection, and the Southern Graphics Council Print Collection. Her work was also featured as an Editor's Selection in the latest edition of New American Painting

© Melissa Cooke

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