Melissa Mudd’s acrylic and mixed media painting titled "My Columbia" was chosen as the Commemorative Poster for the 2008 Columbia Festival of the Arts. The work was selected from 166 images submitted by 26 Missouri artists through a jury process.
"My Columbia" is part of what Mudd calls her “Journey series,” a body of paintings inspired by photos and personal observations of towns and cities she visited while traveling immediately after college. Mudd describes the resulting paintings as “postcards on canvas” and notes that they caused her to question what she calls the “big ideas of memory and place.”
In her statement about "My Columbia," Mudd describes her efforts to capture uniqueness of place: “One’s experiences are a collage of overlapping moments, spaces and times, obscured and sometimes hidden. Instead of pinpointing a particularly photogenic scene or monument, as postcards often do, the idea of memory became a catalyst for me to capture intersections of time and place through layered color, personal journaling, text and image interaction. Though my journeys have taken me many places, I always return to Columbia. I feel fortunate to live in such a dynamic and vibrant city, one which will probably be the subject of many paintings to come. The title, "My Columbia," alludes to the lens in which I view our community and the spaces and places which make it my home.”
A native of Missouri, Mudd was born and raised in Warrensburg and moved to Columbia in 2000. She holds a dual degree from the University of Missouri, in fine arts and arts education, and was recently admitted into MU’s PhD program in art education. Mudd teaches art at Rock Bridge High School and is a member of the National Art Education Association. Locally, she is active in her home studio and volunteers with several arts organizations. She states that she finds inspiration for her art in letter forms and typography, travel, peeling billboards and old signs, vintage textiles and her students
The 2008 Commemorative Poster, "My Columbia," can be purchased at Deck the Walls in the Columbia Mall and at 1305 Grindstone Parkway or at the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, 300 S. Providence.
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