Artist Statement

I make anything that I can until I can’t anymore.
I try to make things that delight me, and hopefully they sometimes delight others too.
I also love to make awful things that are sometimes somehow beautiful.
Sometimes they’re just awful though and delight nobody.
I like to learn new things but also get better at old things.
I feel it is important to practice looking closely, critically, but also joyfully; to treat sight as you would listen to music or learn an instrument.

In an attempt to learn to see better, I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in InterMedia and Digital Arts and a BFA from Radford University. Originally from and still missing the Appalachian Mountains, I can now be found in or around Baltimore, Maryland and rather like it here.

Career Q&A: UMBC Magazine


2020-2022 Long Reach Studio Resident Artist, Howard County Arts Council member

Member of the The Light Ekphrastic Steering Group

Founding Member of The Yonder Cabinet Project

Member of the BioCommunications Association 


2021 Frederick Arts Council – Holiday Showcase Flat File Exhibition – Frederick, MD

2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Brick Hill Plant Lab – Baltimore, MD

2021 48th issue of The Light Ekphrastic – online lit/art magazine

2021 Bio•sphere: An exhibit featuring photographs and installations by artists Melissa Penley Cormier and Mary McCoy – Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City MD

2021 In Plain Sight(site) – LeMondo, group event, Baltimore, MD

2021 SPARK IV: A Brave New World? – Maryland Art Place, group show, Baltimore MD

2021 Bearing Witness – Hamilton Gallery, curated group show, Baltimore MD

2020 Covid Landscapes – Sense of Press publication, prose writing and photography printed, Baltimore, MD

2020 Window26 – CakeWeek Community projection group program, Baltimore, MD

2020 Coronavirus Lost & Found – online archive 

2020 Merkin Dream – Group benefit show, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore MD

2019 Brilliant Baltimore invited panelist – Word & Image: Creative Collaboration with UMBC and The Light Ekphrastic

2019 The Light Ekphrastic August issue and Exquisite Fantastic project

2019 Fox Building Studio Residents’ group show, Baltimore, MD

2019 Marvin Heiferman, Seeing Science: How Photography Reveals the Universe printed by the CADVC and the Aperture Foundation Press, selected images, Reviewed by The Guardian

2018 The 2018 Athenaeum Invitational | The Cabinet of Curiosities, group show, Alexandria, VA

2018 Wave Farm, WGXC Acra Saturday Afternoon Show: Mollye Bendell (field recordings), New York

2017 Seeing Science: How Photography Reveals the Universe artist spotlight, online

2017 Maryland Art Place, Young Blood, juried group show, Baltimore MD

2017 Artists for Truth Benefit Exhibition, SpaceCamp, Baltimore, MD

2017 Glass Oil Blood, The Center for Visual Art Culture and Design, UMBC, Baltimore, MD

2017 SPARK! UMBC exhibition at Light City Baltimore, group show, Baltimore, MD

2017 Open Space, Publications and Multiples Fair, Baltimore, MD

2016 School 33 Art Center’s Open Studios, Baltimore, MD

2016 The Light Ekphrastic Exhibition, David Mikow Gallery, invited group show, Catonsville, MD

2015 School 33 Art Center’s Open Studios, Baltimore, MD

2015 The Light Ekphrastic, August 2015 Issue 23, online gallery

unless otherwise noted
all rights are reserved and
all images are copyright 2021 of Melissa Penley Cormier
please do the right thing & whatnot