ISU Appoints New Director of University Art Gallery

August 13 2007

Terre Haute, Ind. -- An artist who recently served as sculptor for America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been named director of Indiana State University’s Art Gallery.

Detroit native Melissa Vandenberg comes to Indiana State from The Parade Company in Detroit, where she was part of construction and finishing duties for floats. Her many projects for the company included applying fur to a 12-foot bunny and applying skin to a 22-foot dinosaur.

Whimsy aside, Vandenberg’s artistic creations have been on display at exhibitions in Anchorage, Memphis, Carbondale, Ill., St. Louis, Detroit and Oakland, Calif.

Vandenberg served as an assistant professor of sculpture at Rhodes College from 2005-2006. While pursuing her Master of fine art degree at University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale, she served as gallery director for Surplus Gallery @ the Glove Factory in addition to teaching courses in visual culture and three dimensional design. She has also served as gallery manager for the Danielle Peleg Gallery in West Bloomfield, Mich. and the Uzelac Gallery in Pontiac, Mich.

In addition to teaching drawing and three dimensional design in the University’s art department, Vandenberg is responsible for exhibition programming in the approximately 2500-square foot art gallery located in ISU’s Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

An encounter with a group of Indiana State’s students drew Vandenberg to the position.

“During my visit I had a few moments with a group of undergraduate art students which really affected my decision,” she recalled. “They were very energetic with a variety of characteristics they wanted in a director.”

She was also impressed with the venue, which lends itself to a wide range of artists, regardless of the medium. That falls in line with her goal of expanding programming to include more international artists and scholars as well as keeping the exhibits cutting edge.

Vandenberg earned her bachelors of fine art degree in 1999 from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and earned her masters in fine art degree in 2005 from SIU-Carbondale.

For more information about upcoming exhibitions at Indiana State’s University Art Gallery, contact Vandenberg at (812) 237-3787 or go to .


Contact: Melissa Vandenberg, director of University Art Gallery, (812) 237-3787 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or

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An artist who recently served as sculptor for America's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been named director of Indiana State University's Art Gallery.

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