Mel Prest is an artist, curator and educator living and working in San Francisco and occasionally New York. She received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Mills College in Oakland. Prest has taught at Mills College, San Francisco State University and teaches adult education courses at: San Francisco City College, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts and Root Division. She is currently an advisory board member of Root Division, a non-profit arts organization in San Francisco and served as a board member from 2012-2014. She is an artist advisory board member of Trestle Gallery in Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Prest served on the advisory board of The Art Monastery Project, Calvi della Umbria and Labro, Italy from 2007-2010.
Prest is a non-objective painter whose work is focused on color and perceptual visual relationships and has exhibited internationally. Recent solo shows include: Lilac Aura at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (2017); In Praise of Planetary Time at B Sakata Garo (2016) in Sacramento, COLOR CHANT at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (2015), Oakland; MoonBrightChime at Galleri Urbane (2014), Dallas. Her works have been included in group shows at: Saturation Point ACME studios, London, UK; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; The Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Durham, NC; Zeitgeist gallery, Nashville, TN; IS Projects, Leiden, The Netherlands; Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. Prest has been awarded funded artist residencies at: Ragdale, The Sam and Adele Golden Artist Foundation, Willapa Bay AiR, The Wassaic Project and Vermont Studio Center, among others.
As an independent curator, Prest has organized shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Zagreb. She is also a founding member of Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial gallery initiative in Bushwick area of Brooklyn, New York.