Before coming to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Melissa Messina earned her MFA from Pratt Institute where she received the Presidential Merit Award in Painting. While there, she coordinated the 2005–06 Visiting Artist Lecture Series, which featured such artists as Vanessa Beecroft, Mariko Mori, Judy Pfaff, and Joan Snyder. During this time, she also worked as a Curatorial and Sales Associate for a private dealer in New York specializing in modern abstraction. Prior to moving to New York, Messina was hired by the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs as an independent curator and executed several regional and national group exhibitions for their public art galleries, City Gallery East and City Gallery at Chastain. In Atlanta, she was also Assistant Director at Comer Art Advisory, LLC, in 2004, and a Curatorial and Marketing Associate for the art consulting firm, Barkin-Leeds Ltd., 2001–2003. She recently was the Assistant Curator to Ernesto Pujol for the exhibition Mediating America (June 2006) at the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, and was invited to jury the exhibition Adam's Rib Eve's Air in Her Hair (January 2007) at the feminist art gallery SOHO20 in Chelsea. Her own artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the Southeast, New England, and New York.