Artist of the Month: Melanie Hutchinson

I’ve always loved Art. In grade school I’d make dioramas instead of writing book reports. I learned to sew when I was young and have worked in textiles since. I’ve sewn everything from ballet tutus to boat covers, working as a costume designer for ballet and theatre for 30 years. That was so much fun. I earned a Fine Arts degree with honors, and later earned my K-12 Art Teaching Certificate, teaching in public schools and creating home school classes. Several galleries and businesses have shown my art and I’ve participated in many Art shows. Being an Air Force “brat”, I traveled and lived all over the world. At 50 years old, I moved to India to help set up training centers for poor and rescued women. I created some art but was limited in what I could do while working in the centers. I created art pieces with decoupaging blocks of wood found in the streets, using photos I took of all the experiences of living in India. After the children saw what I was doing, they started collecting all kinds of wood pieces and broken jewelry and odds and ends for me.

When a friend from Scotland came to visit the centers, she started experimenting with silk pieces from the training centers and discovered “silk felting”. She is an avid wool felter and artist and found by ‘needle felting’ silk scraps together we could create a whole new material. She taught the Indian women in the centers who started creating ornaments to sell. And I started ‘silk felting’ tapestries, using all the scraps, pieces, and threads to create a new ‘art medium’. I came back to America 12 years later, seeking to find my “place” again in my own country. Recently, I moved to Kansas following my children. Both are developing their own mini farms, and I now live on my daughter’s mini farm. Surprisingly, I’m really liking it. It has become a new inspiration for more artistic ideas and expressions. I love looking into the fields, at barns and old fences, and feeling the history here. I find creating art from all kinds of objects and materials, with things tossed away, found objects, and mixed media fascinating. Every medium is intriguing: collage, pastels, acrylic, oils, decoupage, papier Mache, sculpture, metal, hand work and textiles. And I still explore different mediums but tend to focus on textiles and ‘reverse’ painting, and am starting to move into more sculptural art pieces.

I’m looking forward to this new season in life, and the new people I’m connecting with. I hope to develop my art and connect with other creative people seeking to develop their own full expressions. I hope to create art that inspires, shows the beauty of creation and express our connections with each other. Art is such an infinite venue of expression, a place to rest and explore, a path that leads to so much discovery.

Creating is a passion that fills my soul, and I hope my art has a part in filling up others’ hearts and soul.

The Topeka Art Guild supports and promotes the visual arts and art education through public programs and exhibitions of original work.   *  Site Map and Search     *      Return Policy     *       Privacy Policy     *      785.273.7646

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software