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about

  

MELANA BONTRAGER 

Artist Statement


I believe everyone has a story to tell. Our stories are comprised of families, conflicts, acquaintances, friendships, loves, and loss. Within our stories, individual experiences can sometimes feel fragmented, out-of-place, useless, or random at best. And yet, we find ourselves able to connect to the stories of others because we identify with the disjointed spaces revealed through honest vulnerability; there is often a captivating beauty that grows from these fragmented places. What once felt pointless, can begin to hold meaning. As we listen to each other’s stories, we discover connections, hope, and a reminder that we don’t traverse this life alone. It is my goal to represent these beautiful discoveries through my painting. 

My current work incorporates structures that are at the same time intriguing and impossible. My intent is to use these structures to explore the experience of community in both urban and rural settings; to consider how they influence each other, and to explore the verbal and non-verbal dialogues that ensue.  We live in community. We cannot escape how we affect one another. Our consideration—or lack of consideration—for our fellow human beings makes a difference. While we may not agree with the beliefs of our neighbors, we can affirm the story of every person, recognizing that our value and worth lies not in our beliefs, but our personhood. Just as there is no “right” type of human being, so these shapes are not measured or “correct”.  Rather, they embody a beauty despite their imperfections. They invite the viewer to stop and consider, to emotionally interact with and to wonder. My hope is that these works would stimulate conversation about how we relate to one another in our everyday moments. My hope is that we consider these shapes and their environments, and how they might represent a piece of each of our stories.  

resume

  

MELANA BONTRAGER resume



EDUCATION
Spring 1999     MA – Creative Arts Therapy,
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
 

Spring 1997     BFA – Art/Psychology,
Taylor University, Upland, IN
 

Spring 1996     Photography/Painting/Drawing,
Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy      
 

  

SOLO/FEATURED EXHIBITIONS

2019  Art of Story, Featured Artist, Michael Birawer Gallery, Seattle, WA

2019  Drawn Into Story, Art and Music Collaboration with Moodybear Music, Everett, WA

2018  Everett Art Walk, Solo exhibit, Waxology, Everett, WA
2017  Edmonds Art Walk, Solo exhibit, Ombu, Edmonds, WA
2016  Art and Wine, Wicked Cellars Gallery, Solo show: painting and jazz collaboration with John   Carswell, Everett, WA
2012  Art and Wine, Wicked Cellars Gallery, Solo show: multi-discipline art collaboration, Everett, WA

2010   Art, Wine, and Music, Wicked Cellars Gallery, Solo show, Everett, WA


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018  Holiday Show, Group Show, Michael Birawer Gallery, Seattle, WA

2018 Arts Bestowed, Holiday Group Show, Traumhaus Gallery, Snohomish, WA

2018 Landscape Abstracts, Two artist show, Traumhaus Gallery, Snohomish, WA

2008-2018 Fresh Paint Artist Festival, Juried participant, Everett, WA

2018 Seattle Emerging Arts Fair, Juried Group Show, Seattle Art Post, Seattle, WA

2018  Bellevue Art Museum Arts Festival, Bellevue, WA
2018  Make Your Mark, Summer National Juried Exhibition, Marin MOCA, Novato, CA
2018  Artistic Impressions, International publication, World of Interiors magazine, London, UK
2018  Visual Impressions, Juried group show, Ryan James Fine Arts, Kirkland, WA
2017  4th Annual Living Mark Exhibition, ​Juried group show, Verum Ultimum, Portland, OR
2017  Emerald Spring Exhibition, Juried group show, Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR
2017  WAOW Spring Online Exhibit, Juried group show, WAOW.org
2016  20th Juried Show, Schack Art Center, Juried group show, Everett, WA
2015   Microcosmos, Gallery 621, Juried group show, Benicia, CA
2015  Juried Alumni Exhibition, Taylor University, Juried group show, Upland, IN
2014  Fresh Paint Artist Festival, Featured artist ,Everett, WA
2013  17th Juried Show, Schack Art Center, Juried group show, Everett, WA
2011   16th Juried Show, Schack Art Center, Juried group show, Everett, WA
2010   Pacific Northwest Abstract Show, Gallery by the Bay, Group show, Stanwood, WA
2009  Art and Furniture Show, White Sage Studio, Group show, Ballard, WA
2009  Art and Architecture, collaboration with TeamTroy Realty, Group show, Ballard, WA
2008   Art on the Town, Gallery by the Bay, Group show, Bellevue, WA
2007   Art as Home Decor, Bellevue Home Show, Gallery representation exhibition, Bellevue, WA
2007   Spring Show, Gallery by the Bay, Group show, Stanwood, WA
2007   Local Art, Lowell Artworks Gallery, Group show, Lowell, WA

 

ART COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

2010-2019  H’Arts Auction, Schack Art Center, Art donation/participation, Everett, WA 

2016-18  Pints and Pumpkins,​ Schack Art Center, ​Commissioned Art pieces, ​Everett, WA 

2017  Theater Set Design, Commissioned Painted Set, The Dance School, Everett, WA
2016-17  Reflections--Port Gardner Art Competition, Chair, Everett, WA 2016  Reflections--Everett School District Competition, Juror, Everett, WA
​2016  WAOW--Women Artists of the West, Associate member
2015  Reflections—PTSA Mukilteo Art Competition, Juror, Mukilteo, WA
2014  Scholastic Art Awards, Juror, Snohomish Co, WA               
2013  Schack Art Center, Grant, 2014 art festival poster, Everett, WA
2013  Street Tunes, Commissioned public art piece, Everett, WA
2013  Washington State Art Educators Conference, Presenter, Des Moines, WA
2011  City of Everett Art Collaboration, Commissioned city mural project, Everett, WA