Yellow Table for Cheryl

I was born in 1966 in Indiana where my mother raises horses and my father researches Abolitionist histories. Growing up in a family that encouraged curiosity, I gravitated toward nature and the arts. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I moved to be near the fond memories of my family cottage in Leland, Michigan. And to paint. There I waited tables and tried to figure out a way to make a life painting. In the early 90’s I proposed 30 artist in residence programs in the National Parks. It was a response to an era of censorship, the tumultuous culture wars and a declining National Endowment for the Arts. And it gave me a terrific opportunity to paint. I initiated 8 programs directly and ignited a host of others that exist today. I'm proud of that because beside my own painting I'm really interested in actively creating spaces where other artists can also thrive.
I try to spend several weeks at a cottage on Lake Michigan every summer or a long residency close to water. I live in the tiny town of Chief, Michigan, population 13, with my husband, Richard Kooyman, who is also a painter.

New this year, a series of figures and nudes. Please check them out !

*Scroll through the categories, click for more images, details, prices and locations of individual pieces.

Frankie Gardiner - Mountain Reveries et Cetera
my curatorial project at THE PROVINCIAL
Chief, MI
April 2015

curated by Richard Kooyman with Angela Saxon and Royce Deans
Traverse City, MI
March-April 2015

Melanie Parke & Richard Kooyman
Anne Loucks Gallery
Glencoe, Illinois
January 23, 2015

15th Annual Summer Show
Melanie Parke & Richard Kooyman
Old Art Building, Leland, Michigan
July 18,19,20 2014
Opening Friday, July 18, 5-8
Saturday & Sunday Hours 10 - 5

Invitational Artist Residency
Tuscany, Italy
November 2014

Summer Salon
Ober Gallery
Kent, CT
July 2014

Not So Still Life
Water Street Gallery
Douglas, Michigan
July 2014

Curated by Julie Torres
Bushwick Open Studios
Brooklyn, NY
June 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm
a show I curated for DIY and Bushwick Open Studios
with Yevgeniya Baras, Mike Olin, Clare Grill, Shanna Maurizi, Suzanne Goldenberg, and Maria Britton
Bushwick, NY
May 2014

The New Still Life
Tory Folliard Gallery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
April 2014

Fresh as Form
Curated by Aubrey Levinthal, Lauren Garvey & Derrick Quevedo
April 2014

The Painters Table
Warm Springs Gallery
Charlottesville, VA
February 2014

Lois Dodd Juried Show
Prince Street Gallery
New York, New York
February 2014

Debt Fair
Organized by Occupy Museums
New York, NY
November 2013

organized by Karl Beilik
London, UK
November 2013

What I Like About You
Parallel Art Space
Bushwick, New York
May 31 – June 30, 2013
Organized by artist/curator Julie Torres, 19 international artists are invited to Bushwick to select one work from a Brooklyn artist, and show that work alongside their own.

What I Like About You / North
Imogen Holloway Gallery
Saugerties, New York
May 26 - June 30, 2013
What I Like About You / North welcomes artists from around the globe to Saugerties, NY, via Bushwick, Brooklyn. Organized by Brooklyn Artist/Curator Julie Torres, hosted by Diane Dwyer, Director of Imogen Holloway Gallery, "What I Like About You/North" invites 12 international artists, in town to participate in Bushwick Open Studios in NYC, to showcase their work in this exciting, concurrent exhibit.

Artist Relief Project for Hurricane Sandy Victims
November 21 to December 17, 2012
The Artists Relief Project
50% of all the proceeds will be donated to the New York Foundation for the Arts for artist victims of Hurricane Sandy