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Melissa Smith           





Artist's Statement

Exciting reds. Calming blues. Bright, bold colors. Dramatic contrast. Feel the emotions. Experience the action. Hear the singing through the combination of the religious subject matter and the rich, vivid colors on the canvas. Listen to the loud voices in praise and worship. An African-American church. An Apostolic church. And can you miss the in flooding of light? Flooding the paintings with the Light. With the Spirit.
With spirituality only attained in such atmospheres as this. These paintings show the saints in worship. Expending their very souls to just say thank-you. Capturing them in their moment of gratitude for deliverance from themselves, their previous circumstances and their daunting lives. “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth… Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together…This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles... O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him Psalm 34:1, 3, 6, and 8.” These worshippers wonder how such a great, big, all-powerful God could love such a one so messed up and raggedy. They will continue to worship; continue to revere the Almighty One, and I too will be among the grateful ones for God’s faithfulness beyond measure. I will continue to be there, capturing the wonderful scenes that will become paintings. My work captures the spirituality, vitality and energy of the religious experiences in the Apostolic church. They are a celebration of my African-American heritage and directly reflect the greatest passion in my life. I think about church all day long and when I sleep, I dream about it.
Going to church and drawing strength from church is the most worthwhile portion of my life. Church enhances my way of living. It is the only constant that will ever be in my life. Without church I am incomplete. The love for God, my church and my family is the most extreme passion in my life and is conveyed through the work that I do.

Biographical Statement
Melissa Danette Smith is a young, African-American woman painter who explores the excitement and spirituality within the Apostolic church using rich, vivid, and bold colors and contrast. Having attained her BFA from The Ohio State University, she is now pursuing her MFA in painting and drawing, while teaching a beginning drawing course at OSU. She has received numerous awards, grants and scholarships and has her works on display in many collections including the Ohio Union at OSU. She also has her work in the collection of Mr. Wynton Marsalis.
see also:  ASH Image Web & Print Design Studio