Artist Statement

From time to time we catch a glimpse of who we think we “really” are, the exhilaration and excitement of recognizing something that seems ourselves and yet larger than ourselves at the same time. It is this “something” that fuels my passion both in the process of art and in its subject matter. Art—in process and product—can be revelatory. That revelation may be uncomfortable, or even disturbing, but it always has the power to transform.

I’m primarily a digital artist. I take a photograph in the moment—capture the feel of a place or the look of a person—and I build something new from there by adding in layers of other photographs I’ve also taken. I work intuitively, and the final result is almost always a surprise compared to where I thought I wanted to go in the beginning of a project! But that is part of the fun. And the revelation.

My work has appeared in shows in the US and Canada, the journals The New Post-Literate, EmDash, Eyedrum Periodically, and the upcoming anthology Luminous by Synclectic Press. I’ve also been a cover artist for Sopher Press and I’m featured with the Guerrilla Artists Group.



Home Grown, Cornelius Arts Center, Cornelius, NC


Home Grown, Cornelius Arts Center, Cornelius, NC


Story, Old Town Public House, Cornelius, NC (solo)

Element, Brick Row Gallery, Cornelius, NC


The Power of Labeling, The Incluseum, online exhibition

Zalop: Illusory Correspondence Art, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Convergence, Brick Row Gallery, Cornelius, NC

Big Art Comes in Small Packages, Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery, Orillia, Ontario


Small Works Invitational, Brick Row Gallery, Cornelius, NC


Plastic Exhibition, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Slick Willy: BP’s Oil Slick, Archetype Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Madison Area Open Art Studios Visual Poetry Exhibition, Madison, WI

VISPO, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Atlanta

Commissions and Print Media


Horizons Magazine, image feature: Gender Identity and the Sacred: Widening the Church’s Embrace, March/April 2017, page 12.


Sopher Press, commission: book cover: Erotic Faith: Desire, Suffering, & Transformation in the Incarnational Theology of Wendy Farley, Mari Kim, Ed., Upland: Sopher, 2015


Sopher Press, commission: book cover: Lovely Tents of Jacob: the Vagina in Scripture, Erica L. Martin, Upland: Sopher, 2013



Collector’s Choice: Melissa D. Johnston, Kirstein Fine Art, May 13, 2016, feature.


Exhibit explores artist’s trauma, The Herald Weekly, December 26-31, 2015, pages 18-19, article/interview. Online version here.

‘Story’ on Display at OTPH, Lake Norman Citizen, November 24, 2015, article.

Artist Melissa D Johnston Revisited, Ennyman’s Territory, November 8, 2015, interview

Exhibit shows art ‘elements’, The Herald Weekly, August 13, 2015, interview


The Artists of ‘Convergence’ Opening Friday at Brick Row,, February 4, 2014, interview


Artist Spotlight: Melissa D. Johnston, The Art Gardner, May 9, 2010

Ten Minutes with Visual Poet Melissa Johnston, Ennyman’s Territory, February 24, 2010, interview