South Jersey artist and Rowan University student, Melissa Kirk, had her work was accepted to the VERY competitive juried Fine Art Show at Rittenhouse Square on Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4th.  Melissa earned first place in the student division despite student exhibitors from such prestigious art schools as Moore College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Tyler School of Art.  The South Jersey Cultural Alliance caught up with her at the closing of the show and Melissa only had a few paintings left.  Almost all her paintings were sold!  The whole show included less than a handful of south Jersey artists, so Melissa made us proud for just participating, not to mention winning first place!

Melissa Kirk said, “Without the requirement of Rowan to mount a show of my work in my senior year, I wouldn’t have had the work and encouragement to participate in the Rittenhouse House Square Fine Art Show.”   Diana Smarrito of Kitchen 519, Glendora, NJ, where Melissa show’s her work, says “Melissa is a professional when it comes to her art and I enjoy having her hang her art in my restaurant. My customers love her work and she’s already sold several pieces in such a short span.”   Melissa is graduating this month in art education focusing on painting and minoring in art history.  Her interest in education brought her to India to teach while a student at Rowan.  She will be going on to get her MFA in Italy next year!  You can find Melissa on FaceBook and contact her at