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Art Buff: Melissa Campbell

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in the area. I went to Infant of Prague for grammar school and Maryvale for High School
What is your medium?

Anything and everything that I can enhance, manipulate, personalize or expose. I love using acrylics and oils on canvas but have gotten into making custom hula hoops and other things that people buy like jewelry, bags, wearable art and other usable art.
How has Buffalo influenced your work?
The weather in Buffalo has had the biggest impact on my work. Having a long dark winter gives artists time to reflect and create. The summer is an overwhelming buffet of activities to gather inspiration and gain experience. The balance is nice and I like to work on my bright colorful paintings during the winter.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I create happy beautiful works of art that warm people’s hearts and make them feel good. I use the people to draw inspiration. I think people in Buffalo are kind, quick witted, down to earth, and realistic. We don’t have that false plastic coated illusion that many cities emanate so I often say my work is very honest.
Name an artist (or more) that most inspires you?
Andy Warhol! As a little girl, I was connected to Andy through his work at the Albright Knox. He put my name on art, literally on every Campbell soup can. My style is definetly influenced by Dr. Suess, Van Gough, Peter Max, graffiti artists

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What is your preferred subject matter?
I use bright colors, unique shapes, and layers of patterns. Sailboats, fruit and/or the female figure.
How do you feel you can best advance to the next level, or are you most happy where you are now?
I would love the opportunity to do large murals and other public art.
What is another medium that you would like to learn? Or that you have already learned?
I would like to grow into watercolors. Its a very direct, purposeful medium where each mark counts. I don’t think I have the patience yet.
Is there a purpose to your artwork?
The reason for my art is to make the world brighter.
How often do you work on art?
I work on art all the time. There is an art to everything. I have such a wide variety of things that I do that I’m constantly going from one thing to the next while always developing ideas and concepts. My canvas is my shop, my outfits, my hula hoops. I always come back to painting on canvas.
What or who first prompted you to venture into the art world?
My mom used to buy me sketch books instead of coloring books. I started drawing when I started holding a pencil.. My mom is the best! She let me be me, let me develop myself and explore. She was in school for early childhood teaching when I was an early child and I was a good kid.
Have you been schooled in art? Are you planning on attending art school? If so, where?
I have a duel bachelors degree from UB in fine art and psychology from 2005. I would go further if I had the opportunity to go abroad. Harvey Breverman was my most influential professor, and Brian Porter taught me the most skills.
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Where is your favorite venue in Buffalo to exhibit?
I love space 224! In reality I don’t have the time to show all over the place and feel lucky to get it together enough to show my visual art during Infringement. A large collection of my work is at my shop, Filigrees. I often work on stuff there and love it that patrons can walk in and not only see a room full of local art but they can also see an artist in process.
Where is your current/next show in the city? Dates? Opening night?
My next show will be for Infringement, the place is undetermined, but it will be out there and showing from July 26th to August 5th.
What is the title and theme of the show/s?
Melscamp bright vivid pop 3-d sub space illusory compositions with contemporary kitsch
Where did you learn your craft?
I’ve done it in front of everyone and am becoming more comfortable in my own style.

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What’s the best thing about being an artist?
I can stand out, do what I want, explore culture, love the view, and share that with everyone
What’s the worst thing about being an artist?
Mass production has marginalized fine art because every ginormous corporate super center has the thing for your walls, theme for your bathroom and doodads for your kitchen. Home decor is art but way more like junk food; Its has substance but no nutritional value.
Is there another local artist who you would like us to interview? 

Cousin Kelly, wood sculpture. He does not do computers or typing. He’s at Filigrees every Friday carving wood and talking to the people. He’s really unique.
Anything else?
I’m not only an artist but I’m also an art peddler and promoter. I run Filigrees Gallery & Boutique at the corner of Forest and Elmwood where we feature over 20 local artists in every kind of medium, painting, prints, jewelry, wearable art, sculpture, hula hoops etc. I am heavily involved in promoting and or
ganizing the Infringement Festival. This is my 4th year volunteering and hope to spread the concept around the world. It’s a festival that gives the power back to the artists and highlights everyone who wants to be artistic. I am the publicity director for Subversive Theatre. It’s an amazing collective that converges theatre and activism. Every play has relevant underlying social issues that engage the audience to question society and take an active role in the community. I work really hard and see no other way for myself than through art, even if that means I have to peddle other people’s art and do interior house painting.

Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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