Salon Suites Spotlights Local Artist
Salon Suites is proud to spotlight Melissa Wise Gunn. Melissa attended the University of Alabama where she majored in art and art history. She is also a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta with a degree in visual communications. For over 20 years, she has worked as a graphic designer while also exploring fine art. Melissa’s creative work in website development, multimedia presentation, animation, and banner ad design is backed by years of work as a designer of interactive media.
Melissa also has experience in branding, online promotions, and product management. She has worked in both freelance and agency roles where she excelled in web design, email promotions, presentations, video, and print work. She has had several fine arts showings in the Atlanta area. Melissa has recently moved from Atlanta to Birmingham and is continuing her passion for creating. We had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Melissa and we are thrilled that she has displayed her art at our Greystone location!
Q&A with Melissa
Why did you become an artist?
My mother volunteered at an annual local art show in Louisiana held at Melrose Plantation. I was influenced by Clementine Hunter, a local folk artist. I used to sit at her feet while she talked to the tour groups about her art. She sparked my interest in art, and I am forever grateful for her influence.
What work do you most enjoy doing or what art do you enjoy the process of the most?
Right now my interest is mainly in fluid art. I like the chemical reactions that happen when you mix different materials into the resin. I love the freedom of letting the paint and resin do what it wants and the fact that there isn’t a lot of control. It’s chaos.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have ever created?
I have a piece inspired by Clementine Hunter that I called “Contemplatin’ Pickin.” This piece mimics her style and I will never part with it. Although it has been damaged, I still love to look at it every day.
How is your personality reflected in your work?
My work used to be rigid and controlled, it was dominated by form. It takes an obsessive-compulsive personality to engage in pointillism or to painstakingly outline everything as I did in some of my older pieces. I think that was from years of digital design and getting that perfect curve and clean design using Adobe programs. As I grow older, I am learning to let go more and my art right now is about letting go and going with the flow so to speak. I’m just figuring out that you can’t control life, and as we all know, art imitates and reflects life. I think my art speaks for itself now. It is a form of meditation for me, and it helps me deal with my emotions. If someone thinks my art is beautiful, then I’m satisfied it speaks to others as it does to me.
What excites you most about showcasing your art at Salon Suites?
It is exciting to see my work exhibited in a public space with potential to reach a much greater audience than I expected.
Want to see more of Melissa’s work? A variety pieces are now on consignment display at our Greystone location and check out her Instagram page!