Luam Melake (b. 1986, California) has a background in architecture and uses complex structures to evoke emotive responses from her audience - a delicate combination of counterintuitive, unorthodox designs, constructed with surrealist materials. These techniques are deployed throughout her textile and furniture designs. Melake’s choice of materials is an intrinsic part of her art, as she views this part of the process as the main communicative aspect of her process and output. Melake’s references to Ethiopia’s rich textile and craftwork history are also decipherable in her textile pieces. Her multi-colored tapestry works are abstracted and depart from their traditional grid, with the principle aim of liberating them from contingents of form.
Melake received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, in Architecture with a minor in Art History in 2008. She has twice been an Artist-in-Residence at two prominent institutions: the Museum of Art and Design in New York (in 2017) and the Palazzo Monti in Italy (in 2018). She has worked as a research specialist for prominent art and architecture institutions, such as the Calder Foundation, Demisch Danant, and Studio Sofield to name a few. Melake lives and works in New York.