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Melissa Resch

I met Melissa about 7 years ago in Provincetown.  She was working as support staff at our local resident home for those living with HIV/AIDS.  I was also working for the local ASO, the AIDS SUPPORT GROUP OF CAPE COD, as the Men's Health Project Manager.  I'd occasionally bump into her while transporting the tens of thousands of safer sex kits we stored in the basement of the resident home.  I knew she was also an artist as so many of Provincetown residents are.  Provincetown is, after all, the longest continuous arts colony in the country.

There was something about Melissa, her intensity, her ability to look you in the eye and to hold that look throughout an entire conversation, the passion radiating from her when she had those conversations, which led me to hiring her as a summer outreach worker.  She engaged the throngs of people on Commercial Street during the summer passing out safe sex kits but more importantly having important conversations with young men about safer sex practices and HIV prevention.  She touched hundreds upon hundreds of lives during ridiculous hours (11pm-2:30am) usually after working another daytime job.  And again, on top of all of that, she was a working artist.

We got to know each other pretty well during the years we worked together, but eventually my tenure at the ASGCC was to end in what felt like a blazing inferno.  Rehab.  No one actually knew what happened, why I didn't come back to work one day, and for several years Melissa and I didn't have much contact.  But like so many of the people who come into my life and whom I call friends, we picked up right where we left off as she was about to leave Provincetown this past December after over a decade of dedication to her art and to serving the community.  I believe she and I were destined to meet, so when she came to ask me about whether I might be interested in helping her unload some of her work to enable her to make a new beginning, the wheels started turning.  Encompass Art and In Re(dis)covery were born.  

As we were loading her prolific body of work into my tiny Prius, I touched on my idea of wanting to help people who had come to Provincetown and who were, in some way or another, trying to "recover."  Melissa immediately said, indicating her work, "This is one artist's attempt in a healthy way to struggle with and find a healthy path to dealing with OCD."  Bingo.  It all made sense now.  Melissa's dedication, her intensity, her enormous body of work, her ability to process issues into their complex depths.  And her need to do good.  That drive to want to help people.  I understood all of it and started planning on how to offer up her work, and hopefully the work of others, to a wider audience.  ​

Here are some of the details of Melissa's work as an artist:

Education
2008 University of Tasmania, Australia, MCA, painting
1999 Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, BFA, painting
1988 Taylor University, Upland, IN, BS, elementary education

Experience
2005 Artist in Residence, Flax Mill Museum, Boyup Brook, Western Australia
2004 Artist in Residence, Pioneers Historic Museum, Boyup Brook, Western Australia
2000 Academic Liaison, National Women’s Caucus for Art, Boston Chapter
1999 Teaching Assistant, Painting Department, Massachusetts College of Art

Juried Exhibitions

2007 Grand Opening, Rivers Edge, Longford, Tasmania
2005 Provincetown Artists, Little Gorgeous Things, Provincetown
2004 Illustrating the Sea with a View, Miami Beach, Florida
2003 Art With a View I, Miami Beach, Florida
2003 Gala Opening, Dwellingup Gallery, Dwellingup, Western Australia
2002 Cape Cod Oils, Cottage, Provincetown
2001 Thalia Mara’s 90th Birthday Exhibition, Madison Gallery, Jackson, Mississippi
2000 Hallowed Grounds, International Society, Boston

Solo Exhibitions
2011 In the Harbor, New York City, New York
2010 Provincetown: Light, Land, Sea, Cambridge, Massachusetts
2008 Inspired by a Tasmanian Gasometer, Provincetown
2007 Iconometer, Tasmania, Australia
2006 Colour En Masse, Bridgetown, Western Australia
2004 Spoken For, Dwellingup, Western Australia
2004 Cape Oils, Provincetown
2004 Altered States, Provincetown
2003 October Sketchbooks, Provincetown
2003 The Cape in Copper, Provincetown
2003 Twelve of Twelve, Provincetown
2003 Provincetown Sketchbooks, Cambridge, Massachusetts
2003 100 Drawings, Provincetown

Awards
1999 Graduation with Highest Distinction & Painting Departmental Honors
1999 Pearl Paint/Foundation Auction Award
1996-1998 Presidential Mentor Program
1996 Mohan-Dow Merit Scholar Award​