Melanie Parke was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago with a National Leadership Award. Parke is a recipient of several Professional Residencies, including Oxbow Summer School, Dorland Mountain Colony, Yosemite, and Sleeping Bear Dunes. She has also helped to establish artist residence programs in seven national parks. Parke’s work has been exhibited in the William Havu Gallery in Denver, BSGModern in Atlanta, the Bowery Gallery in New York, Freeport Museum of Art, Midland Center for the Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art, among others.
Parke states that “primacy of spontaneity” and “trust in accident and chance” have always driven her work. She is constantly inspired by the works of others, landscapes, and “anything else that generates a spark visually, mentally or experientially.” Parke is inspired by the artists De Kooning, Twombly, Joan Mitchell, Howard Hodgkins and Matisse as well as by many of the American Realists and contemporaries working today. Parke finds inspiration in landscapes and gardens and the “iconic power a flower, a field, a farmhouse or that a shoreline emanates.” The success of Parke’s work comes from her use of color, temperature, and mood and her ability to balances beauty, grace, power, and sentiment within each of her pieces.
“I find a lot of visual stimulation in contemporary periodicals, looking for patterns, colors and objects and interiors which act as shard-like visual aids, spring-boarding a work or nestling into an existing one.”
~ Melanie Parke