“Urban Vignette” is a series of paintings of our beloved city, Calgary, by a new artist to Motion Gallery this month, Melanie Figueroa. This fun selection of artworks are little glimpses of city life that can be taken for granted, featuring paintings of newspaper boxes, and nostalgic neighbourhood sights. Melanie tells us she enjoys turning the mundane into colourful, fun paintings, adding that she really enjoys painting power lines, traffic lights, sidewalks & signs, fences and utility boxes.
She immersed herself in the arts community through her career as a picture framer, as well as through workshops and classes with other local artists and instructors, and admits that even Facebook and Instagram lend to her creative curiosities. It’s clear to see that Melanie finds inspiration for her paintings from sights most of us would pass by without a second thought to capture the beauty of everyday life. It is this and many local artists around Calgary, and Edmonton that fuel her creativity.
Growing up, her parents kept looking for art camps and classes outside of school to send her to, she particularly loved drawing animals at the zoo art camp. Her childhood creativity had her drawing and illustrating stories., and having participated and absorbed as many art programs throughout school as possibly, Melanie then went onto attended ACA, which is now known as ACAD.
Over the years Melanie has experienced many painting styles and creativity mediums, from pen & ink, graphite, collage, sculpture, encaustic, and even experimented with other materials in the making. She has settled into painting with acrylics for now and currently attends weekly painting courses. You can find Melanie’s artworks exhibited at many curated group shows, like Beacon and Calyx throughout the year, as well as art shows through Leighton Art Centre, which she is a member of, and has artworks on display year round.
And what is the need to paint about? For Melanie making and creating art is purely a way of making people happy. The moments she cherishes are the ones where someone smiles merely because they recognize a place or a sight in one of her painted images, the fact that it brings back a pleasant memory for them is her greatest reward.
For now Melanie continues working on her nostalgic series of urban works, and tells us she has a few other projects ideas underway: garage sale signs, a fence series, and a continuing fascination with graffiti surfaces.
If you miss Melanie’s exhibit at Motion Gallery this month, you can catch her upcoming shows at Framed on Fifth, and Midtowne Gallery in Spring, 2017. You can also purchase her art on her website www.melaniefigueroaarts.com, and find more of her art on Instagram @melaniefigueroaarts, or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/melaniefigueroaarts/.
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere