Melissa Woodburn

Artist Statement

I am inspired by using a variety of media to express statements about the rhythms and cycles of living.  The creative nature of the universe excites me and I filter this through my lens of female experience.  

I grew up in the Midwest and after graduating with a BFA, worked as a graphic designer for fifteen years. My most enduring project from that time has been the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum room “The History of Rockets and Space Craft,” for which I designed the wall graphics.  

After I moved to California, I became interested in the meditative world, how meditation unlocks visualization, and how that in turn unlocks female power. When my husband and I wanted to start a family, I helped found and run a freestanding birth center in San Rafael, California, and taught meditation techniques to pregnant moms to open their sense of feminine power in labor. This profound experience still influences my art today and can be seen in the many vessel and purse shapes that I use.

When my youngest child entered kindergarten, I returned to fine art full time. After the violence of 9/11, I felt the need to add clay back into my mix of media, healing myself by literally sticking my hands into the earth.  Since that time, I have concentrated on working in combinations of clay, fiber and mixed media.

Born Des Moines, IA
Lives and works in Novato, CA

Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, BFA, cum laude,1975
Ongoing education: ceramic, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA, Terra Linda Ceramic Center, San Rafael, CA;  watercolor, Terra Linda Community Center, San Rafael, CA; polymer clay, Baubles and Beads, San Rafael, CA; knotting, dying, nalbinding, fiber sculpture, gallery design and management, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA.

Selected Invitational Exhibitions

“East Meets West,” Civic Center Gallery, Main Library, Livermore, CA

“Bold Botanicals,” ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA
“Unleashed,” ACCI Gallery, Berkeley
“Order & Chaos,” Harrington Gallery, Pleasanton, CA
“Hot Tea!” Del Mano Gallery Online,

“Circles, Cycles and Rhythms,” A Solo Show, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
“Reflections,” Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
“Recent Work”, Union Bank Corporate Office Lobbies, San Francisco, CA

“Intersections 6: Fiber Dimensions and Beyond,” Herbst International Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, CA
“Reflections,” A Six-Person Show, Olive Hyde Gallery, Fremont, CA
“Hot Tea!” Del Mano Gallery
“Hints of Further Possibilities,” A Small Group Exhibition, ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA
“Formed and Fired,” Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

“Member’s Exhibition,” Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
“Journeys: a Chronicle in Clay,” Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA

“Falkirk’s 100,” Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
“All Fired Up! Clay Artists from the ACGA,” Healdsburg Art Center, Healdsburg, CA
“Mixed Media Miniature Show,” 2nd Place Best of Show, CK Gallery, Oakland, CA
“Boots, Bags and Bikinis,” A Three-Person Show, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
“Teapots!” Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Bare Necessities, A Two-Person Show, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA 
Boot, Bags and Bikinis, A Three-Person Show, Artworks Downtown, San Rafael, CA

New Work by Featured Artist Melissa Woodburn, Marin Society of Artists,  Ross, CA 
Hanging With Art: 11 Marin County Artists Live Lives Surrounded by Art, Marin Arts Council, Marin Civic Center, CA

Full Circle: Mandala, A Three-Person Show, Alta Bates Community Gallery, Berkeley, CA
Get Fired - Red Hot Ceramics, Invited Gallery Speaker, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA

Melissa Woodburn, Recent Work, KPFA Craft and Music Festival, San Francisco, CA

Healing Art, A One-Person Show, Aesclepion Healing Center, San Rafael, CA









Recent Shows and Awards

Blue Line Arts, “By Hand, National Biennial Fine Craft Competition,” Roseville, CA

Marin County Fine Art Exhibition, San Rafael, CA 2nd Place Various Media, Marin MOCA Award
California State Art Exhibition, Sacramento, CA Merit Award
The Artery, “California Clay Competition,” Davis, CA Clay Planet Award
Yosemite Museum Gallery, “Yosemite Renaissance XXX,” Yosemite National Park, CA
Marin Society of Artists, “Shapes and Edges – An Exhibition of Fine Craft,” Ross, CA, 1st Place

Arts Benicia, “Form & Function,” Benicia, CA
Marin County “Fine Art and Craft Exhibition,” San Rafael, CA 1st Place Various Media
Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery, “Undressed: An Expose´ of Conceptual Garments and Accessories,” Watsonville, CA
Marin Society of Artists, “Open Craft and Sculpture: Traditional to Cutting Edge,” Ross, CA, First Place

Marin Society of Artists, “Fresh Art: A National Juried Show,” Ross, CA, Honorable Mention, Oakland Museum
Pence Gallery, “Slice: a Juried Cross-section of Regional Art, Davis, CA
Pence Gallery, “By Hand, Extraordinary Craft of California,” Davis, CA, 2nd Place, Juror: Julie Muniz, Oakland Museum

Target Gallery, “5x5(x5)” Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA
Richmond Art Center, “Ahhh Silica!,” Richmond, CA 94804
Marin County “Fine Art and Craft Exhibition,” San Rafael, CA, Third Place Various Media
ARC Gallery, “Consequences,” San Francisco, CA, Juror: Donna Seager, Seager Grey Gallery
CK Gallery, “Spiritual Journeys,” 2nd Place Best of Show, Oakland, CA
National League of American Pen Women, “National Biennial Exhibit,” Washington, DC

ACCI Gallery, “2011 National Show,” Berkeley, CA
Marin County “Fine Art and Craft Exhibition,” San Rafael, CA, Honorable Mention Ceramics
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, “Artfully Reclaimed,” Novato, CA

Museum of Art and History, “ACGA@MAH,” Santa Cruz, CA
Fiber Dimensions, “Intersections IV: colors_concepts_contours” Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco, CA, Juror: Richard Elliot
Napa Valley Mustard Festival, First Place 3-D, Rutherford, CA,

National League of American Pen Women, “NorCal State Art Exhibition,” First Place 3-D, 3rd Place 3-D, Ross, CA
Marin County, “Fine Arts and Crafts Exhibition,” Jeanne Bogardus Award for Creativity, Sculpture;
The Artery, “California Clay Competition,” ClayPeople Award, Davis, CA, Juror: Cathie Duniway

Fiber/DIMENSIONS, “Intersections 4,” San Francisco, CA
Marin County Fine Arts and Crafts Exhibit, First Place, Ceramics; Second Place, Various Media, San Rafael, CA

Baker Arts Center “National Juried Show,” 3rd Place Three Dimensional Art, Liberal, KS,

Slater Mill Gallery, “Waves of Tradition,” Pawtucket, RI
Yosemite Museum Gallery, “Yosemite Renaissance XXI,” Award of Excellence, Yosemite Valley, CA

Napa Valley Mustard Festival, First Place, Second Place, St. Helena, CA
California State Fine Art Exhibit, Juror’s Award, Sacramento, CA


San Rafael News Pointer, “Traditional To Cutting Edge,” Volume 58, Issue 16, Apr. 16, 2014p. B1
500 Baskets, Lark Books, 2006, p. 202
American Art Collector, National Addition, Alcove Press, 2013
p. 280; 2012, p. 278; 2011, p. 276; 2010, p. 334; 2009, p, 240; 2008, p. 308; 2007, p. 302
The Davis Enterprise, “Boots, Bags & Bikinis at the Pence Gallery,” Columns Local News, May 3, 2011
The Pen Woman, (ISSN0031-4242), Winter, 2007, “Melissa Woodburn, Cycles, Circles and Creativity”, p. 3-4
American Art Collector, Western Addition, Alcove Press, 2006, p. 196; 2005, p. 207; 2004, p. 166
Eichler Network, “Renaissance in the Valley of the Artists,” Fall, 2005, p. 1


ACCI Gallery, Berkeley, CA
Artworks Downtown Artist Member
Association of Clay and Glass Artists (ACGA), board member 2007 – 2008
National League of American Pen Women, Golden Gate Marin Branch, Pres. 2014, State Art Chair 2009
Terra Linda Ceramic Artists

The Kamm Teapot Foundation
Private Collections in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa and New York