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Melanie Manos

Engagement Programs Coordinator
Lecturer IV
Janie Paul Collegiate Lecturer

Photograph of Melanie Manos


Curriculum Vitae
  • MFA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2008
  • BA, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 1999

Utilizing her body in absurd and precarious actions, Melanie Manos walks a tightrope between humor and solemnity to convey the inequities and insecurities of daily life, and the systems that perpetuate them. She works in live and mediated performance, video, photography, mixed media drawings and digital collage. With her project Visualizing Women’s Work, she is delving into webAR to bring attention to women’s contributions to society, countering the radical gender bias in public historical culture, and redefining both the content and form of the hierarchical single-hero monument ubiquitous in the US.

Awards include 2021 Knights Art Challenge In Detroit Award and the Kresge Arts in Detroit 2020 Fellowship Award. Academic fellowships include: University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovation 2022 Public Engagement Faculty Mentor Fellow, Center for World Performance Studies 2021-22 Faculty Fellow, and Institute of Humanities 2020 Summer Faculty Fellow. She’s created an online course, Visualizing Women’s Work Using Art Media for Social Justice that exists at Michigan Online and on FutureLearn, and is available to global learners.

She’s exhibited and performed internationally in England, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Canada, and the US, at venues including Museum London, Ottawa; Zuckerman Museum, Atlanta; Detroit Institute of Arts; Santa Monica Museum; Scripps College, Pomona; Gallery 207; Los Angeles, and Bronx River Art Gallery, NY. Solo performances include at Crosstown Arts, Memphis; Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Banff; Simone De Sousa Gallery, Detroit; Wheeler Opera House, Aspen; The Music Gallery, Toronto; and Links Hall, Chicago. She’s also created two large-scale video projections for Dlectricity Detroit, and Site:Lab, Grand Rapids.

Manos’ performance art career began in 1990’s Los Angeles with the feminist duo Too Much Girl, performing in a variety of venues from Santa Monica Museum to Club Sucker and a myriad of punk-glam-drag clubs and alternative/artist-run spaces. She’s been Artist-in-Residence at MacDowell, UCross, Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Taliesin Artist Residency, Crosstown Arts, Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, Holes in the Wall Collective, and the Fish Factory International AIR.

She collaborates with Sarah Buckius (MFA ’06) as The ManosBuckius Cooperative (The MBC), exhibiting multi-channel installation, photography, and video. MBC videos have appeared in video and electronic art festivals throughout the US, and globally in over twenty cities and fifteen countries, including Brazil, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, England, France, Indonesia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, and Ireland. New work played at the 2022 Media City Film Festival, Detroit/Windsor and they’ll present Re/She/DeCode at the 2022 New Media Caucus Future Bodies Symposium.

Manos formerly served on the Steering and Programming Committees of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in its inaugural years, and on the Board of Directors for Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. She’s curated and juried shows at the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Detroit Artists’ Market, and is co-curator of the Art Collection for the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospitals, Ann Arbor.

Her work is in the collection of The Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College, and in numerous private collections. She is represented by Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit (US) and Fish Factory, Penryn (UK).