melana bontrager

Artist Statement 

I have always been drawn to layers in soil, patterns in rock: the visual interaction between natural objects. These natural components can simultaneously offer a soothing element of repetition, and an unsettling element of fragmentation. Similarly, our reality as human beings hold these same elements of tension: our experiences are rarely all-good or all-bad, rather, we experience everything in chorus.

Because of my background in Art Therapy, I place high value on the thought and motivation behind creative expression. Art reflects life: the parts don’t always make sense, the planes shift, the ground becomes sky, perceived stability gives way.  We are often left wondering; It is out of this wonder that I create.

I work primarily in ink and acrylic. Ink offers definition, boundaries, limitations.  It has become a complementary medium to acrylic: sometimes supportive and defining, sometimes putting up resistance, sometimes creating a visual dialogue. These mediums reflect the ways we brush against each other in everyday relationships. Life is an abstract of emotions and experiences and happenings; we don’t often get to see the big picture, but the details engage us and we are drawn into the intimacy of individual moments. These moments can be sacred, they can be unnerving, they can be hopeful. It is my intent that my interpretation of life through line, color, composition, and abstraction invite new perspectives, shift perceptions of reality, and ignite conversation. 

Currently, I am painting and drawing on wood panel; collaborating with a local woodworker to create these panels out of recycled hollow-core doors. I am enjoying the challenge of repurposing existing materials into quality fine art! 

Artist Biography

Melana has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Taylor University in Indiana and has studied painting/drawing at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy and at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  Additionally, Melana has a Masters degree in Art Therapy from Hofstra University, which has encouraged an integration of emotion and intimacy in her creative process. Melana lives in the Pacific Northwest city of Everett, WA.