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Darcy Melton

Darcy Marie Melton is a painter and illustrator who splits her time between the US and Italy. She is a self-taught artist working primarily in oil. She serves as the art editor of Pigeon Review. Her work resides in private collections in the US and UK and has been hung in group collections in the Cannon Tunnel in Washington, D.C. as well as the Jepson Center in Savannah, GA among others. Her work has been featured in Dishsoap Quarterly, The Bitter Fruit Review, The Lumiere Review, and Bonfire. You can find more of her work at, on Twitter @not_mr_darcy, and on Instagram @darcy__marie.

Artist: Darcy Melton

Based in Italy and the U.S.




Culturally Arts Collective features:

"Voyage", June 17 - July 29 2022, Milostka Center for Exhibitions 

What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?
The pieces in this show are quite personal, so with them I intend to say to myself “It’s okay, you’re home, even if you feel far away.” Largely however, with my art as a whole, I aim to say with an approachable whimsy “look at where we are, where we came from, and what we could be,” in reference to human’s impact on the environment and each other.
Where does your inspiration come from?
The pieces in this show were inspired by my two year old niece as well as my own childhood. Much of my art touches on nostalgia, but more subtly. My work is largely inspired by the environment/environmental activism, animal welfare/rights, and women’s/human rights. I am a painter and illustrator with a background in fashion design so I think by default much of my work is inspired by pattern and whimsy.
Do you have experiences that impacted your art?
The theme of the pieces in this show are specifically related to spending time with my two year old niece. She was born in the Winter of 2019 and after spending two years across the ocean from her because of Covid, I met her in the Winter of 2021. I was a preschool art teacher for about three years and had incredible conversations and experiences with kids, seeing how their minds work and how they choose to interact with the world. It’s an experience that changed my like and something that I highly recommend. But in late 2021, I had the opportunity to spend really quality time with my niece and reap the benefit of seeing this incredible little soul in an informal way, in all of her moments, interactions with me, with others, and the many moments she spent talking to herself. The pieces in “Voyage - A Home Elsewhere” are totems, well-loved friends and toys, a mix of memories that I keep in each. I don’t know where to call home, but these pieces help me to know that we share little parts of each other, and in that way I’m always home.
Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?
My art transforms barriers into opportunities. The pieces in this show reflect the barriers I have broken down in my own life. They represent emotional barriers that I have overcome through hard work and those I overcame easily with the help of my two year old niece. I think a lot of us come from families and childhoods where emotions were to be shrouded. After years of working hard to be able show emotion, I met my niece, who shows every emotion without wavering. I think a lot of us can relate to seeing the pureness of emotion in a child that we left behind long ago. I think it’s something that we should strive to rekindle in ourselves and that is what these pieces have done for me. They have given me the opportunity to become more childlike and express who I am, what I want, and what I need.
What are your long-term artistic goals? 
My main long-term artistic goal is to make a living being an artist. For me, that means in addition to supporting myself financially, I spend my time contributing to the world in the way that gives me purpose. This is a broad goal and encompasses a lot. In addition to creating my own work, it’s important to me to make genuine connections with other artists and creators, to learn from those who come before me and make space for those who come after. I have embarked on the first step of this process with my partner by creating Pigeon Review, an art and literary magazine with a focus on pieces that transport us and more importantly on building community.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

We’re all aspiring artists. It’s rough. Making art and making money from your art in way
that makes creation sustainable requires talent, hard work, and connections… in reverse order. That’s connections, hard work, and talent. I say this to encourage my fellow, and aspiring artists, it may be hard, but if making art is what you love and what you see in your future it is worth all of the sacrifices. I continue to spend long days and nights not knowing if quitting my day job, moving across the ocean and “giving this art thing a try” is worth it, but I do it anyway, because it’s my path. That’s what you have to decide for yourself. My idyllic version of being an artist was as a 15th century affluent white man with a patron. The reality is that I really heavily on the kindness of my friends and family, work incredibly hard, pour my heart into my work, and take five minutes in the evening to look at Instagram where most of what I see appears to be artists who don’t work hard, lack passion or purpose, and know all the right people. My strongest advice is “you do you,” if what you want is to create, do it and don’t get bogged down by others. Learn what you can from fellow creators, work hard if you want it, and be grateful for the kindness that will inevitably find you.

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