With a background in scientific illustration, Melissa Wagner's work uses a variety of methods and media to engage the natural world and illuminate its earthly remnants. A disparate falling of leaves, scattered branches, crushed shells, and dried ferns, emerge from a paintings surface to create organic three-dimensional works that incorporate intense color, texture, and a perpetually changing surface. Through her work, Melissa strives to examine and magnify the disguised processes that envelope the living world while addressing issues concerning reproduction and the environment. Mixing the products of nature themselves with glossy synthetic resin coats, Melissa playfully composes her vision of a world that harnesses natural subjects to construct new models where art, earth, science, and wonder intersect. Melissa draws he inspiration from her love of nature and extensive local and global travels.
Originally from Detroit, Melissa has spent the past 10 years in San Francisco and now calls the West Coast her home. Her work has been shown in galleries, restaurants, corporate offices, clubs, and retail stores which include Mandalay Bay, SomArts, The Canvas and Wells Fargo, and is part of collections in Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, and extensively through out the United States. She has participated in San Francisco Open Studios for the past six years, completed a residency at the San Francisco Legion of Honor and De Young Art Center, and recently organized and opened Clara Street Studios in SOMA. She is involved with many projects including the Maitri AIDS Hospice, several mural projects within the Bay Area, and ArtSpan, where she has been an active volunteer with the non-profit organization for over 8 years working on graphic design, signage, marketing and event planning.