Instructor Spotlight: Melissa Starke

Melissa Starke began working at FIT in 1999 at the Counseling Center. She moved to the Fine Arts Department in 2005, and that same year started teaching Precollege Fine Arts Courses. She was the curator for Torche Galerie in Belmar NJ from 2012-2015. She is a three-time Community Development Block Grant recipient from the City of Yonkers, where she is director and curator for the not for profit arts organization and gallery, US+U.  In addition, she manages an artist residency and an education program onsite.  An artist herself, she makes abstract paintings and sculpture. She holds a Business Administration AA, a Fine Arts BFA and is a 2020 Art Market Studies MA Candidate.

Website: www.urbanstudiounbound.org/melissa-starke

Melissa Teaches:
JSX 035 Color Theory and Application
JSX 038 Multiple Media Workshop

Teaching Philosophy:
Making art is a personal process-it can be fun, playful, meditative, serious, intuitive, contemplative and so on. You have to experiment, make things you love and things you don’t like. Both are supposed to happen and will.  It’s part of figuring out your personal aesthetic/finding your creative voice.

I believe one of the most important things to acknowledge as a teacher is that everyone interprets & processes information differently. I enjoy taking the time to get to know each student, it enables me to make teaching choices that speak to the students I have in that particular class.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:

  • Gallery Curator & Director Urban Studio Unbound (US+U Gallery) Yonkers, NY 2014-present
  • Yonkers Arts Weekend Co-Producer/Art Direction 2016-2018 in Partnership with the City of Yonkers
  • Urban Studio Advisor/Fine Arts Department FIT
  • Department Coordinator /Fine Arts Department FIT

 Artwork: