Melissa Cacciola holds an MA in fine art and the historic preservation of art from Columbia University and New York University. Trained by the legendary John Coffer, she specializes in tintype, 19th-century photographic processes, and film. Using a large-format camera and period brass lenses, Cacciola hand-makes each tintype from the photographic emulsion to the lavender and gum sandarac varnish. Her portraits offer an archaeological snapshot of our inner fears, aspirations, and changing moods against the rise of the digital era.
Melissa has worked with various communities to tell their stories, including the United States military, the Mohawk ironworkers, New York City skateboarders, and New Orleans brass band musicians. Solo exhibitions featuring her portraits have included the World Trade Center, NYC; the National Museum of the Marine Corps, VA; United Photo Industries, Brooklyn; the Alice Austen House, Staten Island; New Orleans' famed Preservation Hall; and the Customs House in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine and TIME LIghtBox, NPR, and Newsweek. She is also the recipient of several grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Department of Cultural Affairs, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and the New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
Melissa is based in New York.