Mixed media artist Melissa Rosenberg lives and works in Worthington, Ohio. She received her BA and MFA from Ohio State University and studied Chinese language at Fu Jen University in Taipei, Japan.
Rosenberg creates three-dimensional wall sculptures out of new, natural, and found wood objects such as discarded furniture, branches, croquet mallets, and barn wood. Her practice begins with extensive sketching to find forms and patterns at once quiet yet interesting. Once she has a sketch, she uses a template to cut pieces on a table saw that are then joined at angles in a variety of ways. She usually finishes new wood with paste and sometimes paints or adds other materials to the surface. Drawn to wood because it holds the memory of its growth within its grain, she highlights the nature of the wood itself in her constructions.
Each of her series centers around a specific look or shape; deceptively simple, her works encourage deeper inspection. Strongly related to Chashitsu Architecture, where visual tricks of architecture and gardening pull one into
the present moment, the works create pause. Her X series, for example, melds painting and sculpture and alludes to age and new growth. In her Board series, Rosenberg creates surfaces more akin to painting with their many layers of paint and aniline dye. She investigates formal issues of plane, projection, and perspective while layering color for its optical effects. She says, “Paint is sanded smooth, emphasizing its illusionism. The physicality of wood counters the apparent depth and atmosphere of paint.” These forms project in a way that the perspective seems wrong - “visual conundrums” as she calls them - as the viewer moves around them. Rosenberg sees her work as strongly related to the craft aesthetic, reminiscent of American family farms, coupled with traditional Japanese aesthetics. She says, “it is formal, reductive, and, in its own way, lush.”
Rosenberg’s work is quickly entering public collections including the Ohio Craft Museum and Richard M. Ross Art Museum as well as numerous corporate collections such as Hilton Hotels, Glimcher Realty Trust, Rush Presbyterian Hospital, and Huntington Mortgage Company. She has been awarded numerous grants from the Ohio Arts Council and earned a three-month residency in Dresden, Germany from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.