Melisa Croghan: Bio/CV


Artist's Statement

I am a writer and a multi-media artist of works on paper and canvases. As a writer, I am a poet, novelist, and memoirist. As a fine artist, I work with India ink, graphite, pastel, and oil paint. When I paint in oils, some of my work calls out for added materials, from wood and hardware, to gold leaf. From portraiture, natural world paintings, narrative art with embedded poems in my ongoing Mother America series, my art suggests a continuum of national identity and evolving self. What is the human condition, what are our fears, our personal and spiritual needs? I engage these questions in all my work. My feeling is that art can and should help us to live.


First education: Birth at Columbia Hospital in Washington D.C.
T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Holton Arms, day and boarding school, Bethesda, Maryland

Undergraduate studies include being a Studio Arts major, and an English major
M.A.  Creative Writing   1988    The University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D.  English  1992    The University of Pennsylvania
Scottsdale Artists School, Arizona - 1997- 1999

Art Exhibits & Awards

2013 Two Person Exhibit, The Mackinac Island Public Library The Character of Mackinac Opening Reception Saturday       June 29, 4 – 6 pm.

2012  SOLO  Exhibit, Mother America Series in Sanctuary, The Charter Oak Cultural Center Hartford Nov. 30 – Jan. 3

2012  Group Show The Avon Library,  Nov. 1 – Dec. 1

2012   Four Woman Exhibit: The Signs of the Four at Hartford Fine Art Gallery & Framing  Sept. 15 – Oct. 15

2012   Two person show at Stonecliffe, Mackinac Island Aug.9

2012  SOLO Exhibit The Hartford UCONN Hospital Feb. – April

2011 Candlelight Tours Exhibit, Studio 4A, The Farmington Valley Art Center, Avon, CT  Nov. – Jan.

2011 Juried Group Show. The Mackinac Museum, Mackinac Island June – October

2011 SOLO Exhibit The Mother America Series – oil paintings The Esther C. Drezner Gallery, Avon CT

2010   Melissa's oil painting "A Bridge of Colors" becomes part of The Connecticut Collection, permanent collection of art at the Hartford UCONN Hospital

2007  SOLO Art Show at David Glass Cheesecake: Fine Tastings and Art, Bloomfield, CT

2007 Show at Norwich Art Gallery - "Art 24/7"

2005-2007 Ongoing painting commissions and workshops

2004 Mackinac Island Arts Council Show, Island School Mackinac Island

2004  Hartford Open Studio - Spring Open Studios – The Colt Building, Hartford CT

2003 Featured Artist for Education, Charity Silent Auction, Simsbury, CT

2003 Juried show, West Hartford Art League

2002  SOLO Show, "The Real and the Marvelous" The Investors Center, Avon CT

2002  SOLO Show, The Rocking Chair Café, Avon CT

2002  Juried show, Pioneer Valley Great River Show, Greenfield, Mass

2002   Group Exhibit at The Simsbury Bank, Avon, CT

2002  Group Exhibit at the Simsbury Library, CT

2001 First Prize of poem: “Hungry at the River” Connecticut Poets/ Reading at Mill Race Book Store, CT

2001  Featured Artist, Art Auction, Cave Creek, AZ

2000  Group Exhibit - Sonoran Desert Artists at The Southwest National Bank, Carefree, AZ

1999  Sonoran Desert Artists "Hidden in the Hills Studio Tours," AZ
 with Thorton, sculptor & Croghan, fine artist

1998  Margot Reid Jazz/ Art Benefit Exhibit, Art Center, Cave Creek, AZ

1981 Chester County Fine Arts Exhibit, PA

1980 First Prize, Unionville Annual Art Show, PA
1979 Best in Show, Unionville Annual Art Show, PA


2013  March 7  -  VIDEO: An Artist’s Journey, on Youtube

2013   Feb. 7 – The WriteStuff, The Hartford Courant, Book Review of The Tracking Heart

2013   Feb. 1  -  Article: “The Artful Life”  Art Show and Book Signing,  The Hartford Courant

2012   Nov. 29 – Feature Article, The Mother America Series at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, The Hartford Courant

2012  Aug. 12  - Publication of novel: The Tracking Heart

2012  Aug. – Author Profile, The Town Crier, Mackinac Island

2011  March 11 -  "Walking Wounded," Melissa's oil painting published in The Hartford Courant, along with an article on her Mother America Series

2011 March 7, photograph and write-up of Melissa's artwork in CT NOW, The Hartford Courant

2010 Publication of BLUE TREE, a painting and a poem of the same title in the literary magazine: Verse Wisconsin

2008  RED DAY, oil painting published as the cover art for book of poems titled: Obstructed View

2008 Publication of "Her Father's Eyes" the Art Pick of The New London Day


The Hartford Courant, CT Now, photo and write-up of “Walking Wounded” from The Mother America Series.

The Hartford Courant, Featured Artist articles, The Tracking Heart publication article, and  article on the art exhibit for the paintings of The Mother America Series

The Town Crier, Mackinac Island, Re: art and journal course taught


2013   A Reading and Art Exhibit at The Simsbury Library

2012   Charter Oak Cultural Center:  Visiting Artist Talk and teaching to kids in city afterschool program, Hartford. From THE MOTHER AMERICA SERIES

2012   A Reading from The Tracking Heart, at The Avon Library - with artwork, Avon, CT

2012   Hartford Fine Art and Framing: Poetry and Art Workshop

2012   Book Fair   The Tracking Heart   Ann Arbor, MI

2012   The Mackinac Art Museum: Art and Writing workshop

2012   A Reading from The Tracking Heart, at The Little Stone Church, Mackinac Island

2012   Book Signing   The Mackinac Island Book Store

2011 - Art for Social Justice, workshops taught to 4th-7th and 8th-12th grades at The Mackinac School. Mother America Series

2011 - Art for Social Justice, workshops taught, partnered with The Hartford Insurance and YWCA in Hartford

2011 - Art and Creative Identity, The Farmington Valley Art Center, drawing on The Mother America Series of paintings. Avon,  CT

2004  "Life is a Story" art and Journal course taught at Manoogian Conference Center, Mackinac Island, MI

2003 Workshop - "Memory and Self" Islesboro, Maine

2001-2  FEATURED POET IN THE SCHOOLS, Drawing and Poetry classes - East Farms School, Farmington CT

1998- 2000 - Taught monthly classes in Art: Devised Art history and Painting projects for Cave Creek School district, AZ

1996-97 Conceived and taught Drawing and painting classes for Outreach/troubled kids, AZ

1995 "Your Creative Self" High Hill Workshop, Chester County, PA

1986-1995 Taught American Literature and Creative Writing, The University of Pennsylvania

2002  Lecture and Presentation: The Lumberman & The Lady, the Life of Delos and Daisy Blodgett on Mackinac Island, at the Mackinac Island Public Library, MI

1993 Poetry Reading, The Internet Café, Mackinac Island, MI

1992 – Paper on Addictions and Art, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England

1990 – Poetry Reading, The Penneman Room at the University of Pennsylvania

1989 – Poetry Reading, The Philomaethean Society, Philadelphia, PA

1988 – Poetry Reading, Mackinac Island Turtle Park, MI