© melissa m button.
all rights reserved.

melissa m button


a part of all things

living nest

on the far side of here

fragile strength

final still unformed


born 1971

born in 1971, i am a native of arizona. i received my b.s. in architecture at arizona state university in 1994. i returned to asu in 1998 to pursue an m.f.a. in painting, where i completed my studies in the Spring of 2001. currently i am teaching painting and drawing classes as a faculty associate in the herberger institute of design at asu.

it was through my studies in architecture that i began to explore the delicate balance between the natural world and the way in which life imposes its structure upon it. in many ways my work still encompasses these same ideas. i seek to capture a moment where order/structure and chaos/nature

merge with one another revealing an undefined beauty and balance that supersedes the individual and is a part of all things.

the evolution of my work in recent years has been greatly influenced by my study and travels in china, having spent many months/years immersing myself in the language, the landscape, and the traditions of their culture. the delicate structures of paper-cutttings, the intricate complexity of wood-carvings, and the beautiful fluidity of their calligraphy have all become integral elements in my work.



the moments

a part of all things

adrift by chance

complete in itself

e merge ing

final still unformed

from within

indeterminate result

factoryscape 2

factoryscape 3

factoryscape 4

factoryscape 6

factoryscape 7

factoryscape 9

factoryscape 10

factoryscape 11

factoryscape 15

factoryscape 16

factoryscape 17

at the edge

boxy views

cornering time

crossing the storm

disappearing act

leaky sky

solitary view

storing the sky

upper atmosphere

walking a way

added perception

beauty matters

east meets west

escaping to view

falling into winter

finsing a warped way

marking my way

nothing here nothing left fixed

soul survivor

walking thru boxes of time

when the moments overlap

at the mercy of the wind

becoming again

being rooted

broken to be mended

fragile strength

hope strung out

it beings again

living nest

the end of the line

we grow more attached

a sequence of orgainc reactions

at the edge of nature

patapampa pass II

patapampa pass III

patapampa pass IV

perfect stillness

a totem of clowns

aiming for the bucket

balancing act

clown !1 on stilts

clown #1

clown #2

cowboy clown


ultra unicycle

extensions beyond this point

stuck in circular logic

portals of perception

on the far side of here

building future windows

glimpses behind the choices

how to go from here

timely transitions

choices look the same

finding my way home

saftey nest/p>

little girl 1

remembering gets harder

the memories we are left with

what we see when we look back


1989 - present


2001 mfa - emphasis painting/drawing arizona state university - tempe, az emphasis: painting and drawing
1994 bachelor of science - design architecture, arizona state university - tempe, az
1993 harvard graduate school of design- harvard university - cambridge, ma architecture summer program


2013 – 2016 - faculty instructor - arizona state university - tempe, az painting and drawing
2001 – 2013 - faculty associate - arizona state university - tempe, az painting and drawing
2008 – 2010 china study abroad - arizona state university - tempe, az
fall 2010 faculty associate – glendale community college - phoenix, az 2001 - 2007 faculty associate - arizona state university - tempe, az college of design
1998 - 2001 teaching assistant - arizona state university - tempe, az
furniture design and build


2017 inverse conversations V, mesa art center-mesa, az
2016 paper expeditions (solo), tilt gallery—scottsdale, az
2016 five15 to the power of 5, five15 gallery—phoenix, az
2016 inverse conversations, art museum renmin university—beijing, china
2016 invitational exhibition, 13 contemporary art space—qingzhou, china
2016 creative push, step gallery—tempe, az
2015 inverse conversations III, step gallery—phoenix, az
2014 connections exhibition (solo), tempe youth gallery—tempe, az
2013 third wave painters and printmakers, night gallery—tempe, az
2013 inverse conversations II, bridge gallery at 798—beijing, china
2013 group artist show, finer things gallery—nashville, tn
2012 the moments (solo), biltmore gallery—phoenix, az


2012 inverse conversations, step gallery—tempe, az
2011 first studio (solo) – phoenix, az
2009 beijing experience - arizona state university - tempe, az
2008 g2 gallery (solo), scottsdale, az
2007 g2 gallery (solo), scottsdale, az
2007 bella perla gallery, portland, or
2006 fala collections (solo), tucson, az
2006 micro museum, brooklyn, ny
2005 west valley art museum (solo), surprise, az
2005 g2 gallery (solo), scottsdale, az
2004 lewallen contemporary gallery; santa fe, nm
2004 finer things gallery, nashville, tn
2003 museum of contemporary art, fort collins, co
2003 g2 gallery (solo), scottsdale, az
2003 contemporary forum - phoenix art museum, phoenix, az
2003 @central gallery, phoenix, az
2002 invitational show - exit art, ny, ny


2002 herberger center, phoenix, az
2002 faculty show - arizona state university art museum - tempe, az
2001 "la petite ix" - alder gallery, portlan, or
2001 artlink juried exhibition phoenix courthouse, az
2001 modified gallery (solo), phoenix, az
2001 harry wood gallery thesis exhibition
2000 modified gallery, phoenix, az
1999 del mar college corpus cristi, tx
1999 art one gallery, scottsdale, az


2005 nominee louis comfort tiffany louis comfort tiffany foundation
2002 artist materials grant arizona commission of the arts
1993 fellowship recipient harvard graduate school of design
1989 4 yr. regents scholar for the state of arizona

get in touch with me

thanks for coming