Melinda Houvig is a conceptual artist and professional fine art figure model living and working in the Greater Philadelphia area.
She just completed her first year of the MFA in Studio Art program at Moore. Her current work investigates narratives, intimate conversations and connections. She earned a BFA in Studio Art from West Chester University in 2012.
“I graduated undergrad as a painter, but when I started this program [at Moore] I wanted to do work that was more mixed media, 3-D work and experimental sculptures,” Houvig said. “This past semester I found my way back to painting through the graphic design work that I’m doing right now.”
Houvig currently appropriates lines of text from old novels and writes her own poetry. She juxtaposes the poetry with popular iconic imagery into a handmade collage on a postcard.
She has distributed the postcards through Postcrossing.com, a project that allows anyone to receive homemade postcards from anywhere in the world.
“You register and you’re sent an ID number of someone,” she said. “You read their bio and then you can mail them a card.”
Houvig will be exhibiting her collage work in two solo shows this fall, one in Lancaster and one in Philadelphia.
In addition to making art in the graduate program, Houvig is a full-time figure model at Montgomery County Community College as well as at other non-profit art centers in the Philadelphia area.
As a member of Moore’s Graduate Student Association (GSA), Houvig is helping to secure the first GSA Artists Exhibition with Montgomery County Community College, one of Moore’s transfer partner schools. The show will be on view this fall at the College’s Fine Art Barn in Blue Bell, PA.
“It will be an exhibition of artwork from graduate students across all of Moore’s programs,” Houvig said. “There will also be several collaborative works on view, bringing together a Montgomery College student artist with a Moore graduate artist. I want the show to be about where the students can take their art outside of a two-year community college program. I want them to see that even after undergraduate work there is numerous potential for where their art can take them.”
Houvig first discovered Moore back in high school, when she took several youth classes at the College. She decided to return for graduate school to be part of a smaller, more intimate community. Houvig will depart today [Friday] for Ireland to hike for two weeks prior to the start of her required four-week international graduate residency in Burren, Ireland this summer.
“I can’t wait to be immersed in another culture for six weeks,” she said. “I’m excited to be a part of this program, to study internationally and to meet artists from all over the country.”
Houvig said she appreciates the personal relationships she’s developed with the graduate faculty at Moore.
“It’s almost like the teacher-student relationship transforms and you realize you’re a peer working with other peers,” she said. “It helps you to realize your potential.”
Once she earns her graduate degree, Houvig plans to teach art at Montgomery County Community College.
“Working as a model, I see students come into the classroom who have limited ideas about art,” she said. “At the end of the semester, having posed for them and helped them learn about light and shadows, they get excited about their work. I want to be a part of that process as a teacher.”
Check out Melinda's website