Melissa Jay Craig

Melissa Jay Craig is a sculptor, book and installation artist whose primary medium is handmade paper. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and is included in museum, rare book, print and artists’ book collections. She is represented in the Chicago area by ZIA Gallery.  Melissa has been awarded numerous grants and residencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts studio residency in papermaking at Women’s Studio Workshop, three full fellowship residencies at Vermont Studio Center, and the Faurest Fellowship for artist educators at the Mary Anderson Center. Recently, she was named the 2014 Prairie fellow at the Ragdale Foundation. Her wordless sculptural books have been featured in diverse publications such as Fine Books and Collections, Surface Design Journal, Quiet Lunch and a number of literary publications including Spoon River Poetry Review, Ploughshares and the Paris Review. She lives in Chicago.


au•gust art festival project

The Monitors are part of a much larger, ongoing project which has been quietly installed in multiple locations near arts centers and residency programs from the midwest to the east coast. The au•gust art festival has a special temporary dispensation; usually these cast plant-fiber works are unlabeled and unannounced, and are generally only visible to those who are aware of and in tune with their surroundings. For those viewers, the works provide a portal.
Required Reading quietly asks you to be aware of and connect to the multiple stories, poems and essays unfolding around you as you walk through the woods. Each tree has a biography, its own unique tale to tell, as does each visitor to it; when you look at a tree, you become part of its story and it becomes part of yours. We all share in an ongoing, never-ending narrative.


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