Melanie Yugo is a Filipina-Canadian artist-researcher, educator, artistic director and cultural worker born in Toronto, now based in Ottawa, Canada.
Informed by a background in the social sciences, Melanie approaches her practice through a socially-engaged lens. Her artistic interventions are centred on (1) promoting and sharing underrepresented and diverse perspectives and practices; and (2) supporting the work of artists and arts professionals and their engagement with the public This includes the creation of gathering spaces, writing, teaching, publishing, printmaking, research, convening and organizing exhibitions.
Melanie invests in artist-run culture by creating experimental platforms and networks: she co-founded and directs the micro art and social space Possible Worlds, a gallery, shop, publisher and project space, as well as the multidisciplinary collective/studio Spins & Needles, recognized for its participatory art and music programming in non-traditional venues.She places a particular focus on promoting the work of diverse and emerging Canadian and international graphic artists and collectives.
As a print artist, Melanie specializes in silkscreening and Risograph printing. Her work takes the form of prints and artist books which explore themes of community, culture, identity and place. Print and publishing – as democratic forms and processes that can be made available to a wide diversity of publics – can give voice to expressions of culture, identity and history that may be latent, invisible or unrecognized. In taking the form of multiples, printed matter becomes a platform that can contribute to broader critical discussions.
Melanie has also spent her career working in social and cultural policy and research, in areas such as culture, the social determinants of health and human rights, within public institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Currently she is the Partnership and Networks Officer at Canada’s national arts funder, Canada Council for the Arts, coordinating the network of federal, provincial and territorial arts funders, with the view to enabling access to diverse arts experiences for the enjoyment of all Canadians. (More info on her LinkedIn page).
Melanie received a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed summer studies in silkscreening at the School of Visual Arts.