Mary Melilli

Chair, Art + Design Department, Salem State University


Member profile details

Membership level
Artist (Individual)
First Name
Last name
Business/Organization Name
Chair, Art + Design Department, Salem State University

Personal information


Artist Info

Medium / Media
  • Painting / Drawing
Artist Bio or Résumé
Mary Melilli has been a professor of the Art + Design department at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts since September 2003. She maintains both a professional visual communications and fine art practice. Her paintings have been exhibited locally in Boston, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Lowell, and Lawrence as well as overseas in Slovenia, Singapore, and Bali. Mary supports the arts by contributing her art and her graphic design services to fundraising efforts, scholarship programs, and non-profit organizations. She believes in developing innovative teaching methods and expanding programs to include both traditional and contemporary approaches to education. She received a BA in Studio Art in 1981 from Wellesely College and a MFA in Graphic Design in 1983 from Yale University. She also studied in Provence, France, and Ticino, Switzerland. Mary has been a judge for the Marblehead Arts Festival, the Peabody Arts Festival, and Arc Gallery.
Artist Statement
Abstractions and Reminders
My paintings have always varied in size, appearance, and technique, from abstract to representational, sometimes containing hand drawn type. What the works of art have in common is an attempt to induce a meditative state. I invite the viewer to gaze at the tactile shapes, colors, textures, and (sometimes) words until something familiar or recognizable emerges. The brushstrokes are often evident and tangible; one can imagine how the works were made. The objects may be depicted in an obvious or a discreet manner. The viewer may think of past places or desired experiences. I spend a lot of time on composition and what I like to call, “journey of the eye”, to maintain a visual flow and to sustain the attention of the viewer.
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