Melanie Pankau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and photography in 1999. During her undergraduate studies, she also studied abroad at the Bauhaus Universtät in Weimar, Germany.
Melanie has shown in several solo, group, and juried exhibitions at galleries, alternative spaces, art fairs, and museums. These exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Thomas Barry Fine Arts, Minneapolis, the Minnesota Museum of American Art's Minnesota Biennial 2005, St. Paul, the Midwest Biennial at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art in 2009 and most recently the Great Lake Drawing Biennial at Eastern Michigan University Gallery in Yplisanti, MI.
Currently, Melanie is pursuing her Master of Fine Art degree in painting and drawing in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.