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Melissa McKinstry and Doug Kipperman began their relationship working with students to create a high school literary magazine and a nationally recognized writing, art, design, technology program, WriteDesign. In 1996, Melissa and Doug helped found the Coronado School of the Arts, CoSA. In 1999, they helped start the upper school humanities and arts programs at San Diego Jewish Academy, SDJA. Through their writing and design collaborations, they developed respect for each other's skills, work ethic, and joy of life, they’ve been creating together now for over 30 years. They continue to endeavor to make the world a little better place to live for themselves and others.

Melissa lives and writes in San Diego where she mothers her disabled adult son, curates a neighborhood poet tree, and assists with translation of Yiddish literature. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. Her work has appeared in Rattle, The Seattle Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, earned honorable mention for the 2020 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize, and is forthcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, and Alaska Quarterly Review.

Doug grew up in Coronado, California, learning the family clothing business which exposed him to a variety of worldviews and aesthetics. Eventually he left the business to attend and graduate from Art Center College of Design, leading to his work as a freelance graphic designer in New York City, Denver, and San Diego. Later he taught design and art to teens and adults. He earned a Masters in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. Since 2007, in addition to collaborations with Melissa, Doug has applied his understanding of design to stained glass where he has created pieces that radiate in and out of doors.

The adventures continue, see the latest gallery of banners that we have created to add a little more color to our home.

At this point in Doug's life, he has decided to not do commissions. He finds great pleasure in designing for Melissa and the treehouse.

To read some of Melissa's love for words go to: Granada Kitchen Dance Blog | Poet Tree

To see more of Doug's art work go to: Beginning Sketchbook | Collaborations | Crayon Drawings | Experiment | Sketchbook | Stained Glass

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