Melissa Potter

Pulp, A Love Story, 2010
Digitally printed book, 7.5 x 9.75 inches, open edition. $40




Gender Assignment: Zvono, 2012
Digitally printed book, 8 x 10.5 inches, open edition. $40




Statement

Gender Assignment: I began undertaking gender role assessment quizzes as a starting point to locate my own compliance with gender normativity, as well as personal prejudices and privileges. One of these tests is the BEM Sex Role inventory invented by Sandra Lipsitz Bem. The project started while I was a visiting artist at SUNY Brockport in 2010, Associate Professor, Kitty Hubbard suggested we undertake the same test on students and explore the results in a print-on-demand book for her Digital 2 Class. The students decided as a group to organize the images alphabetically, with three sections: Androgynous, Feminine, and Masculine. Within each category, the images were organized alphabetically by student’s last names, resulting in some provocative pairings throughout the sections. This book is part of a larger body of work investigation gender as a form of social control and organization.

Pulp, A Love Story: Papermaking in Serbia? For more than ten years, artist Melissa Potter has had to explain what she does for a living-wherever she does it. Through professor Vlada Veljasević’s illustrations and storyline, this book chronicles Potter’s Fulbright award adventures opening a papermaking studio at the University of Belgrade and celebrates the amazing relationships formed while teaching the art form in a country almost entirely unaware of its existence. This brief “how to” is meant to inspire future generations of artists and papermakers to develop their own projects in places equally unfamiliar and wonderful.

Biography

Melissa Potter is a multi-media artist whose work deals with the commodification of women and their rites of passage from marriage to motherhood. Her work is expressed in papermaking, drawing, print, sculpture, and video animation. She exhibited at venues including White Columns in NYC, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY through the Artist in the Marketplace program, the VideoDumbo Festival, Galerija Zvono in Belgrade, Serbia in addition to exhibitions in universities and galleries internationally. Her education includes an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ms. Potter is a two-time Fulbright recipient, with a January 2009 Senior Specialist award in Belgrade, Serbia. In 2006, she was a Fulbright Traditional Scholar implementing a hand papermaking program at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade in Belgrade, Serbia. She has been the recipient of other awards and residencies in Serbia and Bosnia, including ArtsLink and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

She is currently an Assistant Professor and Acting Director of the Book & Paper Program in the Interdisciplinary Arts Department of Columbia College Chicago.

Her critical essays on art, particularly art in the Balkans, have been printed in BOMB, Art Papers, Chicago Art Magazine, Flash Art, Metropolis M, Proximity Magazine, Hand Papermaking, and AfterImage.

Melissa Potter Website