Melissa Preston Jessell is a visual artist, working with photo, video, and digital collage. She received her MFA in Photography and Related Media from Parsons The New School for Design. She has a background in film, television, and theater production having graduated from the University of Miami, with a BS in Communication and a BA in Theater Arts. Originally from Richmond, VA, Melissa spent 6 years living and working in Los Angeles in television, film, and photography. She has since completed her masters in New York and is currently residing in Washington, DC. 

As a visual artist her work strives to induce states of calm, states of clarity in the spiritual, and dreamlike states both for herself and the viewer. Through her use of natural light, macro photography, her applied uses of sacred geometry, and her real-time, meditative “anti-viral” videos, she presents herself as an antidote to the perceived chaotic state of the world. Calling for unity consciousness, peace, reflection, tranquility, and a need for Presence, her work asks the viewer, as well as herself, to look within. 

Work is currently on display until July 13th at Latela Curatorial, 716 Monroe St NE #27, Washington, DC 20017.


Melissa Preston Jessell

804-502-5271, MelissaPrestonJessell@gmail.com          


“Spiritual Wanderlust”, Latela Curatorial Art Gallery, Washington, DC 2019

Untitled solo show, Tryst DC, Washington, DC, 2019

1460 WALLMOUNTABLES 2016, District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington, DC, 2016

Push / Pull, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Gallery, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, 2015

Talking Culture, Auckland Festival of Photography, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015

hyphen, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, PA, 2015

Photoville Photo Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2014

Future Projections, Auckland Festival of Photography, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014

Nine Five One - Collaborative Exchange, Memphis, TN, 2014

Made in China, The Firehouse Space, Brooklyn, NY, 2014

Photoville Photo Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2013

Pingyao International Photo Festival, Pingyao, China, 2013

Parsons The New School of Design, Open Studios, 7 between 2013 - 2015


Awards, Honors, & Publications

Excellent Emerging Photography Award - Pingyao International Photography Festival, China, 2013

Melissa Preston Jessell, Capturing Stillness in the Chaos, Art of the Journey, 9/19/2016

The Beauty of Inescapable Change:: Contributions from Melissa Preston, Heart Inspiration, Princella Talley, 2016

Fall & Winter Alumni Spotlight Artist: Photographer Melissa Preston, Collegiate School, Richmond, VA, 2014-15

The Lucie Foundation Fresh Look - Selected Juried Portfolio Review, 2012

The Accolade Honorable Mention: Quantum Entertainment, Starving Artists, Director of Photography, Miami, FL, 2007

A-Peeling Relationship, Collaborative, Miami 12 hour Film Race, 3rd Runner Up, Miami, FL, 2007


Related Work (Highlighted Experience)

Collaborating artist & NY Co-director, Collaborative Exchange, Memphis, TN, 2014

Co-Producer, Authorship in The Digital Age with Lev Manovich, Richard Chused, Jamie Wilkinson, & David Senior, Panel, New York, NY, 2014

Art Teacher for Art Brains after school program, Bethesda, MD, 2017

Assistant Art Teacher for Art Brains after school program, Washington, DC, 2016

Teaching Artist for Paint Nite, LLC, Washington, DC 2015-2016

Artist Assistant to Jim Ramer, Director of Parsons MFA Photography Program, 2014 - 2015

Artist Assistant to Neil Goldberg, New York, NY 2014

Portrait Photographer for A Morning for You fundraising events, Falls Church, VA, 2016

Owner, Freelance Photographer, and image consultant at MPresPhotos, LLC, 2016 - 2017

Technical Assistant, Parsons The New School of Design, Equipment Resource Center, New York, NY, 2014-2015

Founder & Photographer, Melissa Preston Photography, LLC., Los Angeles and New York, 2009 - 2014


Film and TV Production (Highlighted Experience)

America’s Funniest Home Videos, Production Coordinator, Los Angeles, 2012 - 2013

Emmy-Winning Documentary, Growing up Strong: Girls on The Run, Heartfelt Productions, 2nd Camera Videographer, Chicago, IL, 2013

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Script Coordinator (Promoted), Los Angeles, 2007 - 2012

Broken Lizard’s The Slammin’ Salmon, Production Assistant, Los Angeles, 2007/2008

New Line Cinema’s Pride and Glory, Office Production Assistant, Los Angeles, 2007

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Super Bowl Special, Miami, 2007

QuantUM Entertainment Shorts, Director of Photography, Miami, 2007

QuantUM Entertainment Shorts, Director, Miami, 2006



Parsons The New School of Design - MFA in Photography, 2015

University of Miami - Bachelor of Science in Communications - focus in Film, Bachelor of the Arts in Theater Arts, 2007

UCLA Extension Program - Photography Courses with Scott Stulberg & George Simian, 2009/2013

Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), Prague, 2005