Eco Artist Statement

We live in a post-truth world. Climate change has provided us with an unprecedented context for understanding our relationships. Our world is grappling with economic and ecological realities, yet we don’t universally see the simplicity of their interdependence.  I uncover these inter-dependent relationships and present them in artworks to provoke and instigate dialog.

Environmental Art

Eco Art is grounded in the self-evident belief that life is completely dependent on our environment. Collapse of our environment, means no politics, no culture, no fashion, no human rights, no life, nothing. Eco Art undertakes the bold initiative that we must do something, and by acting, we are doing something.

Clients / Testimonials

“During his month-long, La Napoule Art Foundation international artist residency, John Melvin proved to be an outstanding artist and human-being. John manages to question and push boundaries in a way that opens minds and hearts.” Tonya Quinn, Executive Director of La Napoule Art Foundation.

Curriculum Vitae

Over 15 years of international exhibition experience in addition to teaching and professional experience across a wide range of specific fields…

Who?

John Kenneth Melvin is a contemporary American born multi-disciplinary public artist producing eco-artworks worldwide. He believes Public Art has the capacity to transform society. Central to his practice is his engagement of the public in progressive dialogue on the intersection of art, nature, and community.

What?

Melvin inspires cross-cultural exchange and his eco-art projects take him all over the world. He manifests his sculptural art in the form of commissions, residencies, and exhibitions nationally as well as internationally. He has created public art installations for 15 years, such as:

  • “3000 Decisions” at MassArt in Boston in 2004-2009
  • The 2km long monumental Aven Project in 2006
  • The Merced Projects in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission from 2007-2009
  • Wonderland, a site-specific exhibition, in San Francisco, curated by Lance Fung in 2009
  • “2km” in Ukraine in 2010
  • Alpha Omega in Grand Rapids 2011.

More recent installations include:

  • MountainTop at the Bascom in North Carolina 2016-2018
  • and EvoCrawler at the Chateau de la Napoule in France, 2016.

Take a look at examples of his work here.

And now?

In 2017, he completed a major site-specific project, Curbing Entropy, in Siem Reap, Cambodia highlighting plastic pollution in partnership with several local environmental NGO’s, and the eco-artwork composed of 10,000 reclaimed single use plastic bottles was exhibited three times, twice at 1961 Art Hotel and finally displayed inside the International Arrivals terminal of the Siem Reap Airport near Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. Curbing Entropy highlighted the issue of plastic pollution to thousands of tourists per day. Also, in 2017, he completed a permanent sculptural installation at Buffalo Creek Art Center, titled Helix, it is a towering double helix made of wood standing nearly 30’ tall.

No… like now?

For 2018, he completed a permanent acquisition for Sculpture Space in Utica, NY funded in part by the New York Council on the Arts and by an individual artist grant from the Chenven Foundation; a semi-permanent installation at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado funded by Arts in Society Program of the Redline Contemporary Art Center; a semi-permanent installation with Arte Fits Foundation in Puerto Rico in partnership with Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; and a semi-permanent installation at I-Park Foundation, in Connecticut. In the beginning of 2019, he completed a permanent sculpture for the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. Coming up for 2019, will be the creation of two site-specific installations commissioned by the Conrad Hotel in the Maldives; a site-specific community based eco-art project in partnership with the Siena Art Institute in Italy; and many more.

Does he sleep?

Melvin also makes small prints, drawings and smaller sculptures in developing the larger installations. These smaller works, many in private collections, are exhibited internationally on a regular basis at museums and galleries around the world. Notable venues include:

  • Grand Rapids Museum, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  • GogolFest, KIEV, UKRAINE; Gallery E23 in Naples, ITALY
  • MAC Paris, FRANCE; CIAC-Pont Aven, FRANCE
  • Root Division, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • MetaHouse Gallery, Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA
  • Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ, USA
  • Campi Flegrei, Land Art Festival, ITALY
  • Santorini Biennale, GREECE; Humus Park, ITALY
  • LaGrange Art Museum, Georgia, USA
  • Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA
  • Site Santa Fe, NM, USA

For real?

In 2018, Melvin was granted a Carte Sejour Talent Passport from the French government, for working and living in France, and is establishing his studio in Pont Aven France. Melvin earned his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts in 2003, a Post-Baccalaureate from the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France in 2005, and received his MFA in 2009 from the San Francisco Art Institute. He taught art at the university level for a cumulative of nearly 5 years, and before committing fully to his art years ago, spent 10 years in the corporate world. He now makes art full time as he travels back to back from one opportunity to the next. Follow him on social media to keep up to date on his latest work:

Facebook – @JohnKennethMelvin

Instagram – @johnkmelvin