Contemporary artist, Melissa Strawser, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. Melissa’s art work is that of 5th generation Artist influenced by a family steeped in Pennsylvania Folk Art. While printmaking, she is inspired by the ‘everyday’ of making collages, and enjoys working with paper and scissors through collage. Her inspiration is found by observing light and how it travels across objects. Her work is open for interpretation which streams from memories, travels, desires, dreams and motherhood. She borrows and feels inspired by her natural surroundings and nature. Her work provokes the asking of questions which always leads to a memory and interpretation to tell a story. A collaboration of printmaking and sculpture, came about recently and is inspired by her 20 year working-relationship with Val Bertoia. The Bertoia Jr. Dandelion Gong Print is a pulled Artist Proof, an original Intaglio Print using Aquatint onto Val’s Sounding Bronze Plate. When Val asked her if she could etch a drawing onto his formed Bronze Gong(s) she automatically drew from the center outward, a philosophy often used while working with metals, and apropo for Bertoia, her version of a Dandelion Puff seeded and emerged. Melissa Strawser holds a 1st Degree, MA Printmaking from The Slade School of Art, University College London where she was mentored by great Printmakers worldwide in (NY) with Robert Blackburn, (Portugal & UK) with Bartolomeu cid dos Santos, in (UK) with Stanley Jones and she has crossed paths with the likes of many artists like Warrington Colescott, Edwardo Paolozzi, Ron Kitaj. She was also mentored for many years by writer/poet in (NY) Dr. David Shapiro. Today, Melissa works alongside Master Printmaker, Dan Welden (NY) and Bill Ritchie (WA). Melissa’s mentorships were encouragement for the development of her printmaker’s eye, ideas and approach. She currently is located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, working as an independent contractor with Bertoia Studio. She enjoys sharing her passion for Printmaking by holding and organizing Printmaking workshops for children and grownups. Melissa’s print work has been exhibited in the US, Germany, Portugal. She is represented by Galerie Wildeshausen, Germany.