Artist bio: Melis Agabigum, a Michigan native, is a multi-disciplinary artist primarily working in jewelry/metals, 3D fabrication, and sculptural textiles. Provoked by an interest in material fiction, Melis’ work examines the unseen tether of the physical and emotional weights that affect individuals in how they perceive their connection to others, their bodies, and space. Melis has extensively exhibited internationally at venues including the Benaki Museum in Greece, the Royal Venus Hotel in China, and Alliages Gallery in France. Melis was a finalist for the 2020 Arte y Joya International Award and was recently awarded the Emerging Talent Award and the Milano Jewelry Week at RJW Award at the 2021 iteration of Romanian Jewelry Week (RJW). She has held faculty positions at several institutions and is currently and Assistant Professor and the Area Coordinator of Metals/Jewelry at Western Michigan University.