On May 1, 2012, Melissa Mary Benner was killed instantly by a drunk driver. She was 39 years old. She was not married. She did not have children. She had very few material possessions, in keeping with Buddhist tradition. But she did have a life. In her absence, Ms. Haims has been compelled to not only prove but to celebrate her existence.
Offering is her attempt at this proof. During her yearlong journey, Ms. Haims has visited the places she lived and worked. She has walked through fields in her footsteps and found the air she breathed.
Melissa Maddonni Haims is a fiber artist based in Philadelphia. She creates knit graffiti, soft sculpture, and large-scale knit + crocheted installations using recycled, reclaimed and rescued textiles. Her career in the arts began in New York City in the mid 1990’s, and life led her back home to Philadelphia in 2004, where she lives with her husband and young daughter. Ms. Haims has been exhibiting at contemporary art fairs in Miami and Chicago since 2010. She was awarded the Tomorrow Stars prize at Verge Fair in 2011, and was invited to show public installations at Select Fair in 2012 and 2013. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums on the East Coast and Midwest and is held in private collections throughout the United States. She has been yarn bombing internationally since 2010. She began writing shortly after the death of her mother in 2008.