Melissa Rivera - UNLEASH STUDIO, Pleasant Hill, CA Member Since January 2012 Artist Statement Hello, my name is Melissa Rivera-Torres. I am the creator and designer of Unleash Studio. It has been my dream to create unique things and share them with the world. In 2009 I decided to start this journey and see where it takes me.
I was born and raised in Mexico. After graduating with a degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design I worked as a designer in Mexico City for the National Children’s Museum, Papalote Museo del Niño, creating a variety of exhibits. In addition, I designed children’s furniture for schools, producing pieces for preschool classrooms.
In 2004 I decided to go back to RISD to get a Masters Degree in Art and Design Teaching Education. After completing my MA, I took an opportunity to move to Hawaii, and since then I have worked for several schools and institutions teaching students of all ages about design. My places of employment include: The Honolulu Academy of Arts, The Honolulu Contemporary Art Museum, Art to Go (a non-profit outreach program specifically designed to serve Hawaii’s youth at risk) and Hawaii Pacific University. Aside from teaching, I have been working on the development of Unleash Studio, creating things that I believe will make people smile while also offering them something unique and different.
During my time off from teaching and designing, I enjoy being outdoors, skating on my snakeboard, biking on my BMX and listening to music. Surrounding myself with people who inspire me and spending time with those I love makes my life worthwhile.