Melissa Kennedy was born in Saint John, NB, and spent most of her childhood a short distance away in Hampton. After graduation she subsequently attended the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton from 2001-2006 and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts.
Upon graduating, she worked until 2013 when she decided to return to school to develop stronger techniques in drawing and sculpture. She was delighted to be accepted into the sculpture program at the Florence Academy of Art, in Florence Italy, where classical methods of figurative art are taught. She graduated from the Academy in 2016 with a Certificate in Sculpture. During her studies at the Academy she received two scholarships, was chosen to be a teaching assistant for the sculpture drawing program for the 2015/16 school year, was awarded a merit award for the 2015/16 school year and received the “Best Drawing in the Sculpture department” award for 2014/15.
Since graduating in 2016, she remained at the Academy, as a drawing instructor in the sculpture program. During the summer of 2019 Melissa moved back to New Brunswick full time. During the summers she was chosen to be an artist in residence for the Fredericton Arts Alliance, the Fredericton Region Museum, and the Odell Park artist in residence.
Working largely from life, she strives to seek out and express the beauty and subtlety that exists in nature. To recreate an accuracy of the feeling created by an impression as well as through extended observation of a subject.
In summer 2017, Melissa had a sculpture included in the "Figurativas" exhibit in the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM museum) in Barcelona, as well as having had a sculpture included in the “FACE2018” exhibit in London.
The ink tree sketches started during a residency in Odell park this past summer, shortly after I had moved back to New Brunswick, having lived in Italy for the past six years. I wanted to really explore the atmosphere of the park while I was there and I found the bold, twisting movements of some of the tree roots really fascinating. They created such beautifully unique and intricate shapes. And ink had just the right mix of drama and nostalgia to represent them.
Melissa Kennedy, 2019
My first experience of drawing the human figure from a live model was in college. Since that time I have continued to have a strong interest in representing the complexity of the human form with my art, perhaps because the body is already a natural way that we communicate and express ideas. It is something that we all have experience with, are drawn to, and with which we feel a connection. Like so much of nature, the human form is full of diversity, subtlety, complexity, and beauty.
Melissa Kennedy, 2017