In this series, we’ll highlight the staff members who make up the incredible Arts For Life team.
Home chapter: Asheville
What is something you love about your job with Arts For Life?
So many things! Most of all, I love connecting with patients and families. Bringing some levity and fun to anyone’s day in the hospital always feels like a magical, super-special opportunity. When I get to work with a patient or family member who is also super into music, and they teach me something new, that is an amazing feeling!
What is your favorite kind of art to make?
I get real excited about printmaking, especially carving stamps. I also enjoy fiber arts – sewing, crocheting and embroidery are among my favorite ways to get creative. And of course, singing and playing cello, guitar, or ukulele!
Name one or two artists who inspire you.
Kehinde WileyHis deeply affecting, colorful paintings are super inspiring to me.
Lately I’m really loving my friend CaroMia’s new album, Green.
What is your favorite internet art resource ?
Annie turned me on to this awesome site for music games: Chrome Music Labs!So fun, visually appealing, and fascinating.
What is your favorite art supply?
Probably gold spray paint. I love to take something old and worn – a pair of shoes, a bookcase, a glass jar – and give it new life by painting it gold!
If there was a world free from illness and disabilities, where Arts For Life didn’t need to exist, what kind of job would you have?
What a beautiful thought. I would be a musician and music teacher, which is what I do now in addition to my work with AFL.
editor’s note: Melissa is in two bands:
The Moon and You features Melissa and her husband, Ryan. Melissa plays cello; Ryan plays guitar and banjo, and both sing in “voices that sound like they were made for one another” (Bill DeYoung, Connect Savannah)
Cowboy Judy is a female-fronted “Country-Motown” supergroup featuring fluid harmonies, superb songwriting, and charisma to spare.
What are two things you’re grateful for right now?
My dog, Bella(h), and the beautiful weather!