Growth Spurts

Growth Spurts | Melissa Diaz

November 29 - December 31, 2017

266 W 37th Street
New York, NY
(between 7th and 8th ave.)

Nearest Trains: A, C, E, 1, 2, 3
Open Hours: 
Saturday, December 2, 12 pm - 4 pm
Sunday, December 17, 12:30 pm - 5 pm
Saturday, December 23, 12 pm - 4 pm
Sunday, December 31, 12:30 pm - 5 pm
Viewable through the window 24/7.

Opening Reception: Friday, December 15, 7 - 10 pm
Closing Reception: Sunday, December 31, 12:30 pm - 4 pm

Melissa Diaz's installation Growth Spurts is a playful exploration of inner and outer environments, based on the concept of spores growing and reshaping the space they inhabit. Akin to stalactites growing in a cave, these sculptural works represent consistent, gradual and repetitive growth. Conceptually, this work reflects how individual elements in a community can affect space, growth and development. Diaz utilizes pipe cleaners and other playful materials to engender curiosity, nostalgia, demystification of the artist, and art accessibility.

Also featured in the space is the artist's accompanying body of work, Rad Rocks. Made to mimic the appearance of crystals and rare stones, these works represent transitional objects and touch on Diaz's interest in crystal healing energy. "Transitional objects," as coined by psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, refers to an object that exists in between inner and outer reality, subjective and objective experience. Like the transitional object, Diaz imbues these rocks with meaning/importance beyond the reality of their make up. The exhibition will culminate in a Rad Rocks workshop, inviting the viewer to interactively engage with the space, highlighting universalities, and forming a communal, transitional space.

About the Artist 

Melissa Diaz is an artist and a licensed, registered, board-certified art therapist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA in Painting from The University of Central Florida and an MPS in Art Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. In 2010, Diaz founded Open House BK, a community arts initiative that provides free/affordable pop-up art events, exhibitions and therapeutic arts workshops. As a Creative Arts Therapist, Diaz has experience utilizing art therapy, play therapy and mindfulness practices with adults, children and families. She has worked as a therapist and teaching artist in shelters, schools, museums, and inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. Diaz has presented widely on the topic of art therapy application, at institutions including Pratt Institute, University of Central Florida, University of Wisconsin, Health Magazine and Blick Art Materials. In her artwork, Diaz creates interactive installation art as a source of community engagement. In 2015, she was awarded a residency at the Marble House Project, where she explored the integration of installation art, art therapy and environment. Diaz has exhibited widely throughout NYC and nationally, in galleries and alternative spaces. In all her work, she considers space, relationships, and holding environment.

Diaz's organization Open House BK was the recent recipient of a space fund grant, provided by This Open Space. With this opportunity, Open House BK is holding a benefit exhibition with the proceeds from sales of work going to Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico. This event will take place the evening of December 9, 2017, at Chinatown Soup Gallery

To schedule an appointment to view Growth Spurts, or for further information about the exhibition or Melissa's other projects, please contact her at She can also be followed on Facebook and Instagram.


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