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Spotlight Central Archive
Melissa Harris (Photographer)
Melissa’s love for photography began while attending Howell
High School in Farmingdale, NJ. She entered a photography
competition with the Technology Student Association and went on to place in the top ten in the nation three years in a row. Upon
graduating in 2001, she was accepted in the Delaware College of Art & Design where she received an A.F.A. studying under Ron Brignac. It was here that her art began to take direction.
While studying Kenneth Josephson, Jerry Uelsmann and Harry
Callahan, she began experimenting with multiple exposures. She
started with 35mm black and white film and moved on to using
color. Harris received a Bronica during her sophomore year and
it is still that camera she prefers to use for her multiple
exposures. “There is something about the process, the noises and the surprise after waiting to see the negatives – it’s an
experience.” Harris’ work first appeared in a public show at the
Wilmington Library in 2003. That same year, she enrolled in the
Corcoran College of Art & Design. She continued her work there
and was greatly influenced by Andy Grundberg and Frank
DiPerna. Her first big show came in March 2005 at the Corcoran
Museum of Art. The following May, she graduated with a B.F.A.
in photography. Harris began working as a portrait, event and
commercial photographer after graduating and did not reenter
the art scene until 2010. In August of that year she won top prize
in her category; Details, for her piece “Pinned Glass” in the
Members’ Show at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts,
Tampa, Fl. She has since been steadily making art, still enjoying
the process of her Bronica.