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Detail, MakeShift Exhibit

Detail, MakeShift Exhibit

Interactive Hut, presented at Purdue University, Patti and Rusty Rueff Gallery.

Growth Spurts Installation 2017

Growth Spurts Installation 2017

Solo Exhibition presented by: https://chashama.org/

SubterraneanHolding_MelissaDiaz1

SubterraneanHolding_MelissaDiaz1

Solo Exhibit presented by Chashama.

sixftplat

sixftplat

IMG_0408

IMG_0408

IMG_0501 (1)

IMG_0501 (1)

IMG_1750

IMG_1750

Nature and Nurture 1

Nature and Nurture 1

2016 Pipe Cleaners, Rope, Fabric, Acrylic, Wood,Plants, 72"x 56"x 10"

Nature and Nurture I (Detail)

Nature and Nurture I (Detail)

2016

Queen B & Rad Rocks

Queen B & Rad Rocks

2016 Paper Pulp sculptures Rad Rock Series

Rad Rocks

Rad Rocks

Exhibition a part of the Art of Mentalizing Conference @ Pratt Institute

Mama Bolder

Mama Bolder

Largest in the Rad Rock series, 2018, Chashama

Communitree

Communitree

Interactive Community Wellness installation, @La Bodega Gallery in South Slope Brooklyn.

melissa_diaz_the boulder I love

melissa_diaz_the boulder I love

MakeShift Hut

MakeShift Hut

Hut created at Patti and Rusty Rueff Gallery, Purdue University, interactive installation with student participation.

drip 3

drip 3

18" x 24" Acrylic, Gel Pen, Puffy Paint on Arches Paper, 2019

Hut Detail, 2011

Hut Detail, 2011

Diaz_1

Diaz_1

Growth Spurts, 2016

Growth Spurts, 2016

Pipe Cleaner, Tissue Paper, Installation: Sizes Variable

Growth Spurts, 2016

Growth Spurts, 2016

Pipe Cleaner, Tissue Paper, Installation: Sizes Variable

M.Diaz4

M.Diaz4

Hut of Dreams

Hut of Dreams

Interactive Hut at the Renegade Craft Fair, Special Feature, Brooklyn Pop-up in East River Park, Brooklyn, NY.

Detail, Outdoor Interactive Hut

Detail, Outdoor Interactive Hut

Found and alternative objects

Outdoor Interactive Hut

Outdoor Interactive Hut

Renegade Craft Fair, Brooklyn

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Site Specific Installation, created in Residence at The Marble House Project.

Rad Rock I, 2016

Rad Rock I, 2016

Styrofoam, Glass, Acrylic, Pigment

Rad Rock, 2015

Rad Rock, 2015

Cellulose clay, Acrylic

Rad Rock II, 2015

Rad Rock II, 2015

Cellulose clay, Acrylic, Glass, Floam

Rad Rocks Series

Rad Rocks Series

Paper Mache, Acrylic, Styrofoam, glitter, 5"x8"x4"

Rad Rock II, 2016

Rad Rock II, 2016

Styrofoam, Acrylic, Fabric

Gallery Take Over, Detail

Gallery Take Over, Detail

Yarn, Acrylic Gloss Medium, Lights

Yarn Light

Yarn Light

MakeShift, Installation View

MakeShift, Installation View

Mixed Medium, Plants, 2011

Dreamscape

Dreamscape

Detail from installation as a part of MakeShift, Purdue University

Interactive Hut Workshops

Interactive Hut Workshops

Sessions held with Students of Purdue University, Participants involved in group discussion and art making, engaging in group weaving process.

Interactive Opening

Interactive Opening

Creating at Opening Reception, Flora, Solo Exhibition

Flora, Installation Details

Flora, Installation Details

Detail from interactive installation workshops with children and families, Hootenanny Art House, BK, NY, 2013

Gallery Takover

Gallery Takover

Mixed Medium, 3 Day Gallery Take Over Installation, Under Minerva Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2009

Spring Window Display

Spring Window Display

Fringe Salon, NYC, 2013

MakeShift Hut, Detail

MakeShift Hut, Detail

MakeShift Hut, Detail

MakeShift Hut, Detail

  Plantwork   

Plantwork
Statement

    About   

Bio:

Melissa Diaz a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Nationally Registered, Board-Certified Art Therapist, and Community-Oriented Artist. She holds a BFA in Painting from The University of Central Florida, an MPS in Art Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute, and a certificate in Integrated Mental Health/Addiction Treatment. Melissa has over 14 years of experience in Mental Health, holding roles as a primary therapist, group therapist, and program director. She has utilized art therapy in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient mental health, family shelters, schools, and museums. Through these experiences, Melissa has had the opportunity to support individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, mental illness, developmental disabilities, addiction, familial issues, life transitions, and stigmatization. 

By integrating Humanistic, Attachment, and Behavioral frameworks, Melissa provides a person-centered approach that meets the client or group where they are at. Throughout all her work, she weaves in anti-oppressive practice, mindfulness, and self-compassion, while encouraging the unpacking of collective and systemic issues that impact communities.

 

In addition to her therapeutic practice, Melissa founded Open House BK (est. 2010), a Brooklyn-based, community arts initiative that provides affordable pop-up events, emerging artist exhibitions, and therapeutic workshops.  Open House strives to shed light on the arts and community as integral for social justice, personal healing, and progress.

 

Melissa has also worked as an educator for Pratt Institute’s and Southwestern College’s Art Therapy Departments. In those roles she taught Graduate-level courses in Clinical Supervision, Art Diagnosis, Dynamics of Materials, Ethics, and Professional Development At Pratt, she developed the Art Therapy Department’s first BIPOC Affinity Groups and all Social Media platforms. Previously, Melissa held the position of Chapter Delegate to the New York Art Therapy Association and was a former member of the Art Committee of AATA. Melissa is also a practicing studio artist, exhibiting in galleries, universities, and alternative spaces. In her artwork, she creates interactive installation art as a source of viewer engagement. Melissa believes creativity exists within everyone, serving as a gateway to healing, transforming, and exploring the impact of one’s internal and external experiences.

Statement:

As both an artist and art therapist, I consider space, relationships, and holding environment. My artwork is an ongoing exploration of inner and outer habitats that reflect elements of nature, growth, transition, and coexistence. I am interested in portraying the tension and ambiguity of micro and macro environments. Within these environments, I aim to form a transitional space that welcomes play and introspection. Transitional Space, coined by psychoanalyst and theorist, D.W. Winnicott, refers to space in between subjective and objective reality, a space of pure creativity and play. 

 

While I organically inhabit this experience in the studio and therapeutic space, I hope to cultivate it further within the exhibition space. I do so by use of playful arrangements, choice of material, and inviting the viewer to engage with the work through the act of imaginative play. By utilizing simple/child-like materials, I encourage accessibility of art-making, demystifying of the artist, and transformative powers of creativity. I also strive to create interactive components that foster social engagement, highlight universalities and form a sense of communal transitional space. My work forms a relationship with the surroundings and the viewer, paralleling my framework as an art therapist.

Videos & Interviews on works and process: 

http://bit.ly/PodcastCreativeTXUmbrella

http://www.renderingunconscious.org/psychoanalysis/rendering-unconscious-melissa-diaz/

https://www.facebook.com/Health/videos/10154102294405668/

https://vimeo.com/109882993

http://www.fieldprojectsgallery.com/corona-care

https://youtu.be/yIwMjCp92_0

Contact

    Contact    

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