Artist bio

Melissa "Mel" Forkner Lesher
artist hightlight

Mel Forkner Lesher


Mel Forkner Lesher

Mel Forkner Lesher

Artist and Facilitator

Mel holds a BFA in painting and drawing from The Penn State School of Visual Arts and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Art Alliance of Central PA, is a volunteer and member on the Artist Registry of the Bellefonte Art Museum, helps facilitate, develop and organize art programs at The Rhoneymeade Sculpture Garden and Arboretum, and invests with dedication to the principles of the Jana Marie Foundation.  Currently, Mel works as an Art Instructor for Continuing Education at Penn State University.

Mel works in conceptual installation and sculpture while maintaining a dual practice in realist drawing and painting with emphasis on the figure.


Encouraging tools to generate positive outcomes.

I have had ongoing struggle with major depression disorder since I was thirteen. Luckily my father recognized the early stages and facilitated as well as openly encouraged me to seek help when I needed it. I know that without those tools, I would have taken a different path. I want to work on The Stompers Project because I’d like the opportunity to encourage others to acquire tools that can help generate positive outcomes for their lives.

-Mel Forkner Lesher

There is help. There is hope.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health concern or crisis, please reach out for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Trans Life Line: 1-877-565-8860