Reclaimed shed, cotton cord, steel



Melanie VanHouten       


1975, Frankfort, KY  

Currently resides : Minneapolis, MN

Undergraduate School/year/degree:

University of Kentucky, BFA, 1998

Graduate School/year/degree:

University of Minnesota, MFA  2002

Art + Technology, Coalbrookedale Historic Site, Teleford England.

Apr. 06

Politics of Water, Northern Arizona Art Museum, Flagstaff AZ. May 2005

Justine Johnson, London UK

Selected Collections:

Rochester Federal Medical Center, Rochester MN

Golden Key National Honor Society, Atlanta, GA

Selected Awards:

2007 FSP/Jerome Fellowship, Franconia Sculpture Park

2002 NEA Artist in Residence at Rochester Federal Medical Center

2002 Jerome Emerging artist semifinalist





Artist Statement:

Through sculpture and installation I revisit places, moments, and memories to which I feel a strong sense of responsibility and an intense, personal connection such as the development and urban sprawl that are threatening the family farm or the tension that exists within a family that is separated as it struggles to survive. These are but a few examples of the significant losses that together our society faces daily. My work examines the universality of loss and grief and subtly reveals a collective longing that creates a tie between us all. The objects and spaces that I create act as relics; recording the existence of a moment or memory they become three dimensional documents of time and place. Materials that change or decompose bare a certain lifespan of their own that is explicit in the work. Often they are familiar materials that engage the viewer through personal associations derived from their own memories. The connectivity between the viewer and the object unfolds and ideally results in an awareness that some link exists among all people, places and things; that our actions and inactions affect one another. Reclamation reveals an awareness of the disappearing rural landscape that is indicative of the struggle many farmers face while attempting to maintain sustainable living for all of us.