Melissa Ruffino, originally from New Jersey, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Parsons School of Design. She also studied painting abroad in Florence, Italy. She was a juried member at the studio residency of Art Center/South Florida for 5 years, developing her work. Currently living in North Carolina developing a new body of work. Adapting to a very different environment from a city to a slower paced life has made her work grow in new ways.