Melissa Thorne


  • Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • Artist talk begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Mary Harris Auditorium on RMCAD’s Campus

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For over two decades, Melissa Thorne has used the language of pattern as a cultural indicator of history and identity, often exploring issues of gender and class in her work.  In paintings that reference handmade textiles, instructional diagrams, and DIY architecture, she inserts a feminist voice in a revisionist history of geometric abstraction. Over the past ten years, her interest in architecture and geographic place has led her to create site-specific works in diverse venues, including galleries and museums, artist-run storefronts, public spaces and abandoned cabins. In her Patterns series artist talk, Thorne will discuss her research as it examines the role that pattern plays in re-shaping our understanding of the sublime and the experiential.


Thorne’s work examines the relationship between space and visual phenomena through painting and site specific installation. The use of color and pattern is central to her process which includes gathering color samples on site and responding to the form, history, and identity of a place by integrating those palettes into graphically patterned paintings. These works exist at the intersection of observed experience and associative abstraction, and elicit the emotion of an architectural structure or landscape. Thorne is working and living in upstate New York.

Learn more about Melissa Thorne at

Next Day Q+A Lunch with Melissa Thorne

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

RMCAD faculty, staff, and students are invited to join the VASD Program and artist Melissa Thorne for a casual Q+A session over lunch. This intimate gathering provides an opportunity to further discuss the ideas presented in the previous night’s artist talk and engage with our special guest. A light lunch will be provided.

Foundation’s Topic in Color Class with Melissa Thorne

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Visiting artist, Melissa Thorne will bring her expertise and real-life practice of working with color in site specific installations and paintings to the Foundations’ Topic in Color class. Thorne will give a short presentation and discussion on her particular use of color as a contemporary artist. If you are a RMCAD faculty member or student interested in joining this event, please contact VASD Program Director, Gretchen Schaefer at