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Mel Watkin

Mel Watkin’s work has been shown nationally with solo exhibitions at Franklin Furnace Archives, New York, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, and the Addison/Ripley Gallery, Washington, D.C.  Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the American University Museum of Art, Washington, D.C., the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan and Longue Vue House and Garden, New Orleans. Watkin’s 2021-2022 exhibitions include Revolving at the Sheldon Art Galleries, Saint Louis, Trees Bark Series at the Kranzberg Foundation for the Arts, Saint Louis and Along the Rivers at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago commissioned her to create two map-based works in 2020 and in 2021. She also created 8 small works on paper for the Southern Illinois Healthcare Cancer Institute.  Her work can be found in the collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Illinois State Museum, and the Book Art Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among other venues. In 2010, Watkin created a permanent public artwork with Franz Meyer Glassworks of Munich, Germany for the “C” Concourse at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.  Grant awards include: Illinois Arts Council Project Grant, Critical Mass, St. Louis, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship, New York and Pyramid Atlantic, Maryland.  Watkin is the recipient of a 2022 Illinois Artists Fellowship awarded to “exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career and contributed to the foundation of Illinois creativity.”  She’s taught at the university level and held curatorial positions at the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, D.C. (1984-1991), and the Forum for Contemporary Art/Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (1992-2003). In 2004, she founded the Public Policy Research Center’s Photography Project at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, a community-based photography program.  In 2022 she serves as Artist-in-Residence for the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Illinois.

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