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"........Artist who styles herself Mela M. rely on strong geometric frameworks for their architecture-based abstraction... . Mela M.'s large panels are cool and elegant, highly formalized but reminiscent of aerial views of urban grids." 
 
The New York Times, Long Island Weekly Desk, "Whose Paradise Is It Anyway?",  By Helen A. Harrison
"Mela M. creates various invented geometric shapes, introducing the illusions of form and space by combining multiple points of perspectives for the viewer"
COOS Art Museum, "Expressions West 2004 Competition", Press Release
Bibliography
2015
​Masur Museum of Art, 52nd Annual Competition Curated by Benjamin M. Hickey & Sandra Firmin, Monroe, LA {March-June) http://www.masurjuried.org/
2014
Alexandria Museum of Art, 26th September Competition Curated by Stewart Nachmias, Alexandria, LA (Sept.-Nov) http://themuseum.org/exhibits/26th-september-competition

2011 
Vitebsk Prospect, America with Birds Eye View, Elena Alimova, Vitebsk, Belarus, p.6, March 24, 2011
TV Interview, Vitebsk, "Exhibit of an American", Belarus, March 20011
Peoples Word, Tatiana Pasternak, Vitebsk, Belarus, p.15, March 31, 2011
Vitebsk Worker, Natalia Rishicova, Vitebsk, Belarus, p.8, March 29, 2011
Vitebsk-Radio, Radio Interview, Alexander Socolov, Belarus, March 2011
http://news.vitebsk.cc/2011/03/23/v-vitebske-otkryilas-vyistavka-amerikanskoy-hudozhnitsyi/ Vitebsk, March

2010 
Bunny Gallery, "For Roland" , Catalog, Sept. 2010
2009  New American Painting, Catalog, 2008 Pacific Coast Compettition. January 2009 
2008 The 809 Gallery pablication, "Constructed Shapes", Alberta College of Art + Design, Calgary, Canada February  

2007 
RAM, “Keeping it Straight: Right Angles and Hard Edges in Contemporary Southern California Art”, by Peter Frank, Riverside, CA (Nov.)        
ArtScene, “Keeping it Straight: Right Angles and Hard Edges in Contemporary Southern California Art”, by Peter               Frank, Riverside, CA (Nov.)         
RAM, Director’s Statement, “Keeping it Straight: Right Angles and Hard Edges in Contemporary Southern California           Art”, by Daniel Foster, Riverside, CA (Nov.)         
CLARE Affairs, The Newsletter of the CLARE Foundation, “Art for Clare”, Santa   Monica,Ca (Summer 2007 )

2006  
Radio Interview (7/4/06) on the Program  “Two in the City”  on the Radio    Station “Culture” (FM 102.9) Mela M.       interviewed by Uri Evanoski, Minsk,    Belarus        
Central National TV station ANT on the show “Good Morning Belarus” Friday    and Saturday June 16 & 17, 2006.             Shown at about 8 in the morning. Minsk        
ArtScene “A Journey through The Flat World: The Virtual Architecture of Mela    M.”(June 2006)          
News from Belarus & Eastern Europe, The Being Times, "View" by Mela M. at    MoCA Misnk, (June 6, 2006)        
Coagula Art Journal, “From America”, The exhibition of 55 American artists from    26 cities, Curared by Los                       Angeles based artist Mela M., Minsk Belarus (June 2006,    #80, page 41)       
 “A Journey through The Flat World: The Virtual Architecture of Mela M.” (Catalog)

2005  
RTHK, Radio/Television Hong Kong, China General Programs Section, TV Interview,    Producer Tim Cheung, (July 17, 2005)          
Presented by the Kingsley Art Club and the Crocker Art Museum, “74th Crocker    Kingsley Exhibition”, A Juried               Competition for Ca Artists, January 29-March 13, 2005         
Crocker Art Museum, Catalog, January 2005        
 Artweek, Editor Debra Koppman, Stellar Somerset Gallery, Previews, “Mela M. Spatial    Dimensions” Palo Alto, CA,         June 2005         
Scott Shields, “Croker-Kingsley 74th Exhibition”Crocker Art Museum, Catalog,Jan 2005        
Coagula, Lawrence Asher Gallery, “Perspective: Linear, Spacial & Otherwise”, Los    Angeles, CA, March 2005        
Selah Artistic Giving Center, Story of Homelessness, Catalog, Los Angeles, Ca  December- January,. 2005         Azusanianesr Bread Crumbs, ” A wannabe Artist Personally Blogging a Life’s  Happening in the Land of the                     Angels”, Mela M., Moto Okawa, www.motookawa.com,  Tuesday, May 17, 2005

2004 
Christopher Knight, LA Times staff writer, “The Many Colors of White, Explored”, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles,   CA, March 19, 2004         
New American Painting, Catalog, 2004 Pacific Coast Competition, Juried by Michael  Klein, Curator of the Microsoft         Art Collection, December, 2004        
Jess Holl, “Signed up for ‘Summer Camp”, Galleries, Calendar Weekend, Los Angeles    Times, Los Angeles, CA,             July 22, 2004         
Coos Art Museum, “The World”, “Expressions West 2004” Coos Bay Oregon, Friday, July 9, 2004         
Out and About, “Museum Offers Talk, Workshop”, Coos Bay, OR, May 10, 2004         
Presented by Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA), Benefiting the Art Museum Council of LACMA, Catalog, Los             Angeles Art Show, Santa Monica, CA, October 14-17,2004

2003 
Zucman, Glenn, “Strange Angels” Radio Interview, KBEACH.org., CSU Long Beach, CA, April 13, 2003.        Harrison, Helen A., “Whose Paradise Is It, Anyway? Expo XXII”, New York Times, Arts and Entertainment, Long                   Island Edition, March 16, 2003         
Wallace, George, “Guggenheim Curator Picks Spoke Expo Artists”, The Long Islander, March 6, 2003        
Sokolovskaya, Aleksandra, “People in America”, LA Panorama, January        
Valerle Marrs, “Local artist exhibits in Whittier”, Whittier Daily News, Whittier, CA, December 31, 2003

2002  
Dr. Jeanne S. Willette, “Memory and Metonymy: Mela M. and Postmodern Painting”, Catalog,, June 2002          Richard Smith, “Mela M.’s New Paintings… ”, Catalog ( May)           
Mela M. Memory and Metonymy, Catalog,, June 2002
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=99d9c593d4a3d250!424&authkey=!AEJUqs9Gsv7am0s&ithint=file%2cpdf

2001  “Master of Fine Arts-2002”, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, May 2000 
Frith, Stephanie, “Riviera Village Festival Reinvents Itself,” LA Times South Bay Weekly, April, 2000          
Easy Reader, April 27, 20001999  International Woman Magazine, LA Woman’s Show, June 1999
A Journey through The Flat World: The Virtual Architecture of Mela M. 

Essay by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette, Associate Professor of Art History, Otis College of Art + Design, Los Angeles, California 

MoCA Minsk - Summer 2006 



To the amazement of those who were convinced that the world was flat, Christopher Columbus found America. After 1492, everyone was convinced that the world was round, but five hundred years later, the skeptics have been vindicated. The world is indeed flat, flattened into a digital landscape spreading out endlessly, like a net that ensnares us all in its connective tissues. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Thomas Friedman, has commented, “Everywhere you turn, hierarchies are being challenged from below, or transforming themselves from top-down structures into more horizontal and collaborative ones.” Once artists were restricted to a style or a movement or a locale, but now art, like the Web, goes everywhere, connecting artist to a globalization of creativity. Everywhere, artists are at home, citizens of a digital world, free of museums, galleries, and dealers. In this new Flat World, “artistic freedom” as acquired an entirely new meaning. The artist has become a wanderer. 



On the eve of her American citizenship, Russian native, Mela M., now a successful artist in California, brings architectural drawings of a re-dreamed world to her homeland. Although it floats seamlessly through a cyber world, art stubbornly retains its human quality: a basic physicality that demands to be looked at. The work of Mela M. insists upon intimate, close observation, a careful reading of subtleties that become apparent only when scanned slowly. Close reading reveals that the small-scale painted drawings carry their own contradictions. The artist speaks in the international language of architectural CAD programs, but she works by hand. The flatness of the building diagrams is only apparent, not actual. The spectator who looks carefully will see geometrical segments precisely crafted by the artist. These sections become sculptural units that are conceptual memories of the actual structural materials. (“Purple Line”) She pours over architectural books in the library to find the landscape, but she stares at the sky, pondering the way in which the built environment pushes space into new shapes. Her map of the skyscape of Chicago is a mere line of the tall buildings that replace the plains of the prairie with false mountains, like the Sears Tower. (“Constructed Horizon”) Surrounded by tall buildings, most humans instinctively look up at the sky, seeking nature in the middle of overwhelming culture. This artist inverts the viewpoint by looking down from nature, into culture, and imagines the buildings opening like the petals of a flower and re-sees the street as a piece of fallen sky. (“Fallen Sky”) Perhaps God is female, who looks down and seeks to restore poetry to the earth. 




Although as a post-feminist, the artist does not confront the patriarchy, her work records and recognizes the personal meaning of architecture to women and the public meaning of buildings erected by men. Mela M. appropriates the buildings of male architects, noting with amazement that our environment was designed by and for men, and yet her work is not about gendered habitations. She simply takes these constructions and then proceeds to re-build them to her liking, meditating upon aspects of the structure that are now re-thought. I.M. Pei’s National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. is crowned by red slabs, indicating the “hotness” of art in such a cool, geometrical white space. (“Near the Red Hot Corner”) An obscure part of Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum is found and an odd window is highlighted. (“Pushed Space at the Whitney”) Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, also in New York City, (“Spiral Passage of the Guggenheim”) is remade as interior space of female sexuality, as though the architect was regressing into the spiral passage to the safety of the womb. 




Now that the artist has become a perpetual traveler across the unfolded map of computer connections, one might assume that the artist has no home and no sense of place. But Mela M.’s work is a deeply personal response to the identity of place. The question: where do you live? has become more significant than ever, for we can live anyplace; we can choose. America is a land of immigrants who are a source of the nation’s diversity and strength. Free to come and go as they want, people live there because they want to live there. America is “home,” (“World Home”) a vast flag composed of diverse shapes and colors. The artist carefully inscribed the names of all the nations---all of the cultures---that have been carried by nomads to their adopted country over the stars and stripes. As an immigrant, Mela knows dislocation and adjustment and the difficulties of “coming to America.” The closest thing to a self-portrait or a narrative of migration would be a small white house shape within gray clouds, but inside the heart is a round yellow sun. (“My Sunny Home of Peace”) This sun is internal and is transportable: the artist is on the move and is always home. For her, the mis-use of home can be seen in the refusal of people to take care of the earth, as signified by the surround of burnt and dried grass surrounding a house that she imagines as being filled with artificial trees and flowers. (“House with a Green Window surrounded by dried Grass”) Culture has replaced nature with painful results. 




One can speak eloquently of despoiled environment or of human arrogance, but the artist is not stridently political, only compassionate. Mela M. makes the statement that architecture defines us. Since Stonehenge, marking the open land with stele is a human need. Thus, it is traumatic to the heart when a structure is felled. Like most Americans, the artist is nearly mute with the pain of the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11, but she memorializes the tragedy. Look carefully her act of homage: she rebuilds the Towers, now “flattened” into hand-crafted planks with sharp beveled edges. (“Twin Towers – Never Forget”) Painted over with floating lines of paint, these towers carry the marks of those hundreds of humans who flew, like angels, to the sky below. In another work, the artist draws the blankness of Ground Zero in the shape of two slabs, crossed one over the other. (“The View”) Tom Friedman made the point that when the Berlin Wall fell, the world opened and, in its openness, was flattened. In contrast, he continued, when the Towers fell, walls went up. “To beat back the threat of openness, the Muslim extremists have, quite deliberately, chosen to attack the very thing that keeps open societies open, innovating, and flattening, and that is trust.” As Friedman said, “There has never been a time in history when the character of human imagination wasn’t important, but…it has never been more important than now.” The writer calls upon us to exercise “peaceful imaginations” that will lead to openness. 




When one looks at the flatness and the openness of Mela M.’s “Views” of her world, one recognizes the interconnectedness and the vulnerability of us all. These are small works, sized to suggest the grids of a map, indicating pieces of a larger territory, extending in all directions. Despite all the sharpness, all the edginess, these drawings are exercises in empathy. Floating on white paper, lying under glass, her drawings are transparent and unprotected, underscoring the inherent irony of the virtual landscape they suggest that technology does not displace the human by flattening our space.. In order to trust each other, we must be able to imagine each other. The artist of today must be an ambassador. 








Thomas Friedman. The World is Flat (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux) 2005. p. 45.; Ibid. p. 443 






Dr. Jeanne S. Willette, “Memory and Metonymy: Mela M. and Postmodern Painting”, Catalog,, June 2002​ Richard Smith, “Mela M.’s New Paintings… ”, Catalog ( May)​  

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=99d9c593d4a3d250!424&authkey=!AEJUqs9Gsv7am0s&ithint=file%2cpdf