Meet the Milwaukee Domes Art Festival Jury

The Milwaukee Domes Art Festival is honored to have nationally renowned artists and teachers like Jill Sebastian and Shelby Keefe, and a curatorial representative of a world class art institution like the Milwaukee Art Museum in Mel Buchanan, to comprise our jury. Learn more about the first annual Milwaukee Domes Art Festival jurors below.

Melissa Buchanan is the Assistant Curator of 20th-century Design at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where her curatorial responsibility includes working with the Museum’s contemporary craft collection. In the next year, she’ll be coordinating exhibitions that range from 18th-century American quilts to European Design since 1985. Mel has worked as a Decorative Arts curator at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art, is a published author, and an active member in multiple groups dedicated to the study and preservation of decorative arts. Melissa has a Master’s Degree in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Yale University.

Shelby Keefe is a highly decorated contemporary impressionistic painter, teacher and performance artist. She has been the poster artist for some of the largest and most prestigious art festivals in the country including the Cherry Creek Festival of the Arts and the Milwaukee Lakefront Festival of the Arts. Shelby has also been chosen as the Channel 10 Great TV Auction Featured Artist for 2010. Graduating in 1981 with a BFA from Cardinal Stritch University, and after retiring from a career in graphic design, she now operates her own art studio and exhibition space in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her award-winning urban landscape paintings have earned her participation in prestigious national juried shows and arts festivals as well as garnering commission work for a variety of corporate clients and private collectors. Her oil paintings are found in collections such as The Bradley Foundation, Acuity, Northwestern Mutual, in many other businesses around Milwaukee, and in private collections around the nation. Her individual awards, honors and accolades are too numerous to list.
Learn more about Shelby at

Jill Sebastian’s sculpture and installations have been exhibited across the United States, in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. Her major public works include the Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, WI (1998); a 30-foot fence, New Orleans, LA (1993); a pocket park for Washington Heights, Milwaukee (2002). Jill is currently a Professor of Sculpture at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD).

Jill received her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1979, where she integrated sculpture and film studies for an MFA. In 1985 she received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Sebastian’s early solo exhibition at Berth Urdang Gallery blended unraveled narratives with cinematic ideas made physical in text-clad sculpture. Subtle questions of place, perception and movement continue to permeate her installations, drawings and interdisciplinary collaborations shown in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities in the USA. The first installation in The Milwaukee Art Museum’s new Calatrava-designed addition was her site-specific collaboration with Wild Space Dance Company (2005). Sebastian’s public works include a playable musical fence in New Orleans; literary portals for the Midwest Airline Convention Center and a streetscape for Madison, WI. Her current commission for the New South Campus Union at UW-Madison will integrate environmental questions into the fabric of a building meant to last 100 years.
Learn more about Jill at You can also visit her blog at