Melissa Misla takes a specific interest in the Nuyorican experience. Misla’s work takes a personalized and collective account of the Latine home and NYC apartments through mixed media. Initially focusing on painting, her works layer collage and found materials to explore the culturally dualistic environments in which she was raised both in Manhattan and Queens, NY. With an art-centered education, she has supported her career as an Artist through positions in art education, programming, materials, and museums.
Misla has a BFA, with the support of the first Kossok Fellowship Award, from Hunter College, and an MFA from Queens College. Her show in Jackson Heights with the artist collective NeoCreos held recognition by Remezcla and the Queens Tribune. She was awarded a CUNY Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center. Misla’s full gallery installation Apt.9D, featured in NY Latin Culture Magazine, depicted an interactive Nuyorican apartment interior. Select pieces have been exhibited by Plaxall Gallery and Aquarius Studios in Queens, with The Latinx Project, with The Heckscher Museum Emerging Artist Series, with The College of Architecture, and Art & Design in Mississippi, and at Art Miami. She is represented by Praxis Gallery New York. Her first solo show Bendita Casita opened in 2020, commemorating our renewed and challenging connection with our homes.
Regarding her last exhibition, she notes: “My first solo show with Praxis Gallery entitled Bendita Casita opened in September 2020. It welcomed viewers into a sacred home, acknowledging the effect of the pandemic on our relationship to domestic spaces. The collection of mixed-media works collectively created an apartment interior. Primarily painting, digital illustration, and collage: my process often begins with a photograph of a place I have lived which is used to create the structure of the spaces I render and reimagine. Layering printed materials, tapes, wood, magnets, among other materials, these collage-like works help me explore my sources of identity and culture through the process of building these compositions. Utilizing various materials connects me with the make-do creativity of my community and allows me to extend my references. Each work is scaled to slightly smaller than life-size so that the viewer and I may engage and interact as if present in the space, while abstracted elements contribute to the expressive notions of nostalgia and emotional connection. Together, the works undoubtedly narrate my own spaces and experiences and that of my family but additionally connect with collective attributes of the Latine spaces. The pieces use personal references in combination with imagery related to the adaptation of Caribbean culture in a threatened urban environment and the duality of the Latine experience. Curiously welcoming, the show emphasized our recently renewed connection with the home.”