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Melissa Haviland

You can't take it with you...(archipelago)

crocheted tarp

100" h x 100" w



Description: "You can't take it with you...(archipelago)" is an ongoing series of (currently the 4 here) rugs crocheted from blue tarp. Tarps are everywhere, especially the blue tarp—the color of the most basic grade of tarpaulin. The tarp is an essential, cheap material that straddles class divides.

Artist Statement

Within my artistic research, I use domestic objects as a cultural lens to explore relationships, both personal and economic. I often refer to the dining table and view it as a platform for interaction--from conversation to negotiation. I set this table and the exhibition space strategically to examine desire, etiquette, and the power of objects in our lives as totems and commodities. Often, I explore lineage, ritual, and practice within objects that are gendered and classed, like fine china, which has both feminine and upper-class connotations. My last name—Haviland—is the name of a china manufacturer and assisted in leading me to fifteen years of considering fine china within my work. My artwork straddles the boundaries between printmaking and installation-performance. I make many small prints or large malleable prints that are installed together and overwhelm the gallery. Printmaking and the multiple allow me to reference the reiteration of objects and ideas in our culture.


Melissa Haviland is an artist-printmaker who lives and works in Athens, Ohio. She received a BFA from Illinois State University in 1998 and an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2002. Haviland is currently a Professor of Printmaking at Ohio University where she teaches printmaking and papermaking. Melissa Haviland’s print installations take over the gallery, often becoming a bit too much, while questioning the objects in our lives and the personal, cultural, and economic power they have over us.