Melody Epperson

As I look at the world around me, I begin to wonder… I wonder about identity and how my story connects with other’s stories. I experience life events and I wonder how I might understand them better through art. This is how I find connections and patterns in life.  This is how I understand life.  As I wonder, I begin to find metaphors and symbols that help me express what I notice. One exploration leads to the next, in an organic interconnected blob. As I change, my curiosity takes me to another media.

My most recent curiosity is about the suffragettes. This curiosity grew out of my interest in feminism, which began when I met Judy Chicago at an art opening. It was there that I started to wonder how feminism has changed in my lifetime. At that time, I also began to think of myself as a feminist artist.

I am very interested in what it looks like to be a woman and how that has changed throughout history. Before my investigation of suffragettes, I was looking at this idea of identity. I began to explore my own grandmother’s life and compare it to my own. Has being a woman changed throughout time? How have the opportunities and expectations have changed?

Through that series I came to the symbol of a dress. This led me to consider other ways to use a dress as a symbol of life. I created a series of dresses to represent the seasons of life; Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. This investigation required a change of media. I began to use of fabric and thread and natural objects to create a series of wearable sculptures.

Sometimes I choose to investigate my subject through a media. One time while I was thinking about layers, a friend gave me a piece of rock that captured my imagination. I began to dig deeper into layers and to wonder how I might show layers using a new media. Watercolor seemed to be the best media for this series.

In the past I have created dance and performance art, made music and sound art, explored video, cantastoria, crankies and of course used a variety of more traditional visual art media.

Recently I have been drawn to the fluid, unpredictable qualities of encaustic painting. The process feeds my curiosity and encourages my creative associations. I enjoy using layers and mixed media because the process reveals hidden meanings. My current series of encaustic painting includes mixed media elements.

28 years of being an elementary school teacher has engrained in me the value of learning and teaching. I value the process of gaining knowledge and understanding as well as sharing knowledge. That is why one of my motivations for creating art is teaching others and sharing what I have discovered.