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Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, M.F.A.

Professor in the Dept. of Art & Design (School of Creative Arts)


  • M.F.A., Ohio University
  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh


Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido currently teaches 3D Foundations, Visual Art Capstone, and advanced studies courses for Morehead State University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.F.A. degree from Ohio University. Mesa-Gaido's creative work encompasses two and three dimensional media, diverse and innovative use of materials, and inter- or cross-disciplinary connections. Mesa-Gaido's artwork has been recognized and supported consistently with numerous grants, fellowships, and awards. Prestigious granting organizations include: Art Matters in New York City; Alternate Roots in Atlanta;  the Kentucky Arts Council, both an Al Smith Fellowship and a Professional Assistance Award; and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, with three Artist Enrichment Grants. During her tenure in the Department of Art and Design, she received two Creative Production Grants, two Summer Fellowships, and the Distinguished Creative Productions Award from Morehead State University.

An actively exhibiting artist, Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido has participated in exhibitions for over two decades, including one person, international to regional juried, and invitational. Her pieces have been presented at reputable venues, such as the Aluna Art Foundation, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Spaces, Indianapolis Art Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Three Rivers Arts Festival, The Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, Mexic-Arte Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Speed Art Museum, Evansville Museum of Art, Avampato Discovery Museum, Cleveland State University, the University of Kentucky, and Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts. In addition, Mesa-Gaido has created three public art commissions for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, and the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council. One of her installations is part of the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora's permanent collection in Florida.

Images and/or critical reviews of Mesa-Gaido's work have been published in books, journals, periodicals and newspapers, including: "In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics" (University of Michigan); "The Latino Studies Reader: Culture, Politics and Society" (Oxford: Blackwell); "Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Philosophy, Psychology and the Arts" (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University); "Fiberart International" (Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh); "Bound" (The Women's Caucus for Art); "Surface Design Journal: Latin American Fibers Issue" (Surface Design Association, Fall 2013); "Dinosaurs of Distinction" (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Natural History); "Art Miami," "The Nation," "New Art Examiner," "ART PAPERS," and "The Miami Herald."

Professional activity

  • Participation in exhibitions for over two decades, including solo, 2-4 person, and group. Venues include the: Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture in Miami, Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Spaces in Cleveland, Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana, Mobile Museum of Art,  Kreft Center for the Arts in Ann Arbor, Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Avampato Discovery Museum in Charleston, Broman Fine Arts Gallery in Miami, and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
  • Inclusion in exhibits juried by well known art professionals, including: art critics, such as the Editor in Chief of American Craft, the Editor of Surface Design Journal, and former Art Critic for Newsweek; internationally prominent artists; the President of the Southwest School of Art & Craft and curators from the Andy Warhol Museum of Art, MOMA, Textile Museum of Canada, Oakland Museum of California, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hirshhorn Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
  • Images and critical reviews of Mesa-Gaido's sculptures published in books, journals, periodicals and newspapers, including In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics, The Latino Studies Reader, Art Miami, The Nation, The New Art Examiner, Art Papers, The Miami Herald, The Atlanta Journal, and Surface Design Journal.
  • Current work consists of two-dimensional and three-dimensional mixed media textile pieces.


Honors and Awards

  • The awarding of grants from: Art Matters (Artist Grant) in New York City; Alternate Roots (Alternate Visions Grant) in Atlanta, Georgia; the Kentucky Arts Council (Al Smith Fellowship and Professional Assistance Award), the Kentucky Foundation for Women (three Artist Grants); and MSU (two Creative Production Awards and a Summer Fellowship).
  • Awards for Innovation and three dimensional work, as well as recognition through Merit, Festival and Placement Awards for juried exhibited work.
  • Three public art commissions: the Lexington Arts & Cultural Center's "Horse Mania" in Lexington; the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's "Dinomite Days" in Pittsburgh; and the Speed Art Museum's "Beyond the Walls" exhibit in Louisville.
  • Inclusion of sculptures in the nationally juried Women's Caucus for Art's "Women of Color Slide Portfolio: Hispanic."
  • Invitations to serve as a juror for the awarding of grants to artists, or the selection of artists for exhibition.
  • Artwork held in the permanent collection of the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora in Florida.
  • Received the MSU Distinguished Creative Production award in 2013.

Teaching Areas/Areas of Expertise

  • Sculpture and Installation
  • Textiles
  • Mixed-media
  • Foundations  
  • Professional preparation and presentation (Capstone)  

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205 Claypool-Young Art Bldg.