the artist.

Melissa Lee

MA Arts Administration; Florida State University, 2012

BFA Drawing & Painting; University of Georgia, 2010

Before beginning this endeavor, I was raised in Tifton, Georgia.  While I loved my rural childhood of competing in 4-H events and owning the role of being a small town cheerleader, I packed my bags in 2005 for the University of Georgia.  Upon graduation, I knew I wasn't quite ready for the life of a studio artist. Instead of jumping into the art world, I pursued a graduate degree in nonprofit arts management at Florida State University.  As most of my cohort, I had a passion for museum education and public art.  I interned with the FSU Museum of Fine Art and the Tallahassee Council on Cultural Affairs, and I participated in community murals helping to revitalize the Gaines School Road district.  I eventually earned my degree and began a career in higher education with the Terry College of Business in Atlanta; I fell in love with the city while volunteering with Living Walls, American Alliance of Museums, and Flux Projects.   Though my breakup with Atlanta was tough, I returned to Athens in 2015 and continue to work for the University with the Division of Development and Alumni  Relations.

The change of pace here has allowed me to continue to be active in arts programming by serving on the board for the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, which cultivates current art projects and ushers the process of placing new public art in the community.  I'm happily a Chicopee-Dudley resident, and you can easily find me enjoying the city with my spunky puppy, Hubble, and bluegrass-picking, BBQ connoisseur husband, Dan.  I can't wait for what's next!  

her work.

Tenth Muse Studio

My most recent, complete series, Primordial Novae, was driven by my fascination with astronomy, existentialism, and the sublime.  By studying telescope photos and using my paintbrush and fingers to move acrylic paint across a surface, I explored the nature of individual and universal vulnerability by creating an allegory of my inner-self as celestial phenomena.

I am currently working on a new series, Terra Novae.  Serving as a step back from Primordial Novae, I'm continuing my fascination with the color while scaling down my focus to earth's sublime landscapes.  Follow me on Instagram to get all the teasers and announcements for the release of these works.

Premium art prints are available through the Print Shop.  If you are interested in purchasing a painting or commissioning a private work, please contact me directly via the email link in the footer.

Don't forget to follow @tenthmuse_ath on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for updates!


Pecola., June 2015

Creature Comforts Brewery, November 2015

Pecola., Group Exhibition: "Small Wonders," December 2015 

Hendershots, February 2016

Last Resort Grill, March 2016

The Tifton Museum of Arts & Heritage, May 2016

Gallery L1, Group Exhibition: "Heartspace," May 2016

Flicker Theatre, June 2016

Terrapin Beer Company, Group Exhibition: "Roots," September 2016

Trio Contemporary Gallery, Group Exhibition Curator: "Nasty Women Athens," June 2017

Benefiting Organizations

Inman Cooperative Preschool, The University of Georgia, Georgia 4-H Foundation, Lutheran Services of  Georgia, Tiftarea AcademyAthens-Clarke Heritage Society, Feminist Women's Health CenterWellspring Living, and Kate's Club.