Melissa Kennedy was born in
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
Since graduating in 2016, she was asked to remain
at the Academy, as a drawing instructor in the sculpture program. During
the summer of 2017, Melissa returned to
She currently has a sculpture included in the
"Figurativas" exhibit in the
How do I create a polymer resin sculpture? I start by creating the sculpture in clay, referencing a live model. Afterwards, a mold is made of the clay with silicone. The resin is then cast in the silicone mould. A liquid capture coat of resin is brushed into the mould, to create the surface of the sculpture. After this layer sets a layer of mesh fiberglass is brushed onto the first coat with more liquid resin. This gives added strength to the cast, while still keeping it relatively lightweight. The cast is separated into parts, to make them easier to cast. The pieces are joined after they have set, again with resin and fiberglass. When the piece has hardened enough to no longer be fragile, the mould is removed and the seams are touched up. Then the cast is given a patina. I use paint and wax.
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.
For these reasons, I have decided to make the figure the focus of my study in art. My desire to pursue an accurate and knowledgeable version of the human form has led me to study at The Florence Academy of Art, and my education there has taught me a variety of methods and techniques to use in my work, in addition to the technical accuracy that I attained while studying.
Upon completion of my diploma at The Florence Academy of Art last year, I have had the privilege to remain at the school as an instructor of drawing, where I also have a studio. Having the extra time in that environment has been an incredible learning experience beyond the school curriculum, allowing me to be in an space that contains so many opportunities and knowledgeable artists.
My focus since graduating has been to include more expression in my figurative work, and how to introduce or convey thoughts or emotional responses to the viewer, while continuing to develop the skills and techniques that I learned at the FAA. Asking myself questions such as what choices can I make as an artist to share my ideas, in a way that those thoughts will convey somehow to an audience, yet still remain subtle and aesthetically pleasing.
Melissa Kennedy, 2017