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Introducing Melissa Vandenberg, The 2019 Antigravity Guest Artist

Melissa Vandenberg

Erica Chambers Photography

Antigravity: A Space for Contemporary Perspectives is an exciting series of site-specific art installations in the entry of The Rockwell. Each spring, a contemporary guest artist will create an original work of art in response to The Rockwell’s collection. This new, unusual exhibition space greets each guest, provoking curiosity and reflection about art from the moment you enter the building.

Melissa Vandenberg, the 2019 Antigravity artist, finds inspiration in ordinary materials, using items like matches, quilts, stickers, popsicles and temporary tattoos to explore issues of power, national identity, mortality, patriotism and pride. Vandenberg will use hundreds of handkerchiefs to create a site-specific installation in The Rockwell’s rotunda entryway. 

4 Ways to Experience Antigravity with Emerging Guest Artist Melissa Vandenberg

1. Visit The Rockwell

This special installation by Melissa Vandenberg will be on view now through February 17, 2019. The Rockwell is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discounts for AAA, military, local residents, students and 62+. Kids/teens 17 and under are always free at The Rockwell. 

Plan your visit

2. Rockwell Ambassador Meet-the-Artist Party

Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Rockwell Ambassador members are invited to celebrate the Museum’s Emerging Artists Rotunda Installation, Antigravity, featuring multidisciplinary artist Melissa Vandenberg. Vandenberg will speak about her artistic vision and process and how the piece fits into her larger body of work. 

Learn More & Register

3. See Melissa Vandenberg at Corning Museum of Glass

March 11 – 15, 2019 | Daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (artists will break for lunch)

Vandenberg will work collaboratively with Corning Museum’s Hot Glass team as part of the Guest Artist Series to experiment with new ideas and processes to further enhance her works. See her in the Amphitheater Hot Shop each day, March 11-15, 2019.

Learn More

4. Members-Only: Visiting Artist Coffee Hour

Coffee with the CuratorFriday, March 15, 2019 | 10 – 11 a.m.

Members are invited to enjoy light refreshments and warm conversation at this members-only coffee hour with guest artist Melissa Vandenberg. Join us for a casual panel discussion with the artist and the lead gaffer.


Not yet a member? Become a member today!

About the Artist

Born and educated in Detroit, Melissa is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator living in Eastern Kentucky. Her studio practice explores the political landscape using national identity, folk art, ancestry, immigration, and the perception of a homeland as points of departure. She gravitates to everyday materials like matches, fabric, stickers, wood, and commonplace objects. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Iceland, and extensively throughout the United States. Melissa received a BFA in 1999 from Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan and a MFA in 2005 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has been the recipient of numerous grants including a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant, the Al Smith Fellowship, Great Meadows Foundation Travel Grant, and was shortlisted for the Luxembourg Art Prize in 2016. Melissa is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Kentucky University.

Melissa is represented by Maus Contemporary in Birmingham, AL.


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