Central MA Up + Comer: Graphic Designer Nicole Melone
Thursday, May 08, 2014
SW: What is a day like at the Gallery of African Art?
NM: Everyday in the Gallery is completely different. One day we will have a lively tour and drum class field trip, and another will be quiet with the handful of visitors enjoying the gallery on their own. The range of visitors we have is wide, some travel from far away to see our collection and others stumble in by chance. Either way it’s always wonderful to hear their stories and their connection to Africa and its culture, especially when it’s that very visit that has sparked their interest
SW: What led you to this career path?
NM: I have always been creative and enjoyed solving problems and have since realized the power of successful design. I now find great joy in giving this power to others with my work. By being able to stand out and be accurately represented by a visual presence is a valuable advantage to any business or organization. As a freelancer I have found myself choosing to work with individuals and small local businesses that I can be passionate about, for example businesses that focus on education, arts, humanity, community and other all-around good causes.
SW: What do you feel stands your work out?
NM: I am very driven to produce high quality work. Details are important to me in creating design and art on a deeper level. Not only is design aesthetic, but I think it has the potential to really improve the world around us, which is my main objective. Seeing my talents result in a positive impact towards an individual or a community is what I want to achieve as a designer.
SW: What is on the drawing board for Gallery of African Art for 2014?
NM: In conjunction with Crocodile River Music(CRM), also steered by our director Zach Combs, 2014 will be full of community events and concerts highlighting the energetic music and colorful culture of Africa. We also have many Residencies booked for the 2014-15 school year where CRM brings all this and more to schools in the region through our African Arts in Education programming. Find more information on these programs and events on our facebook and at http://www.galleryofafricanart.org!
SW: Any other projects that you are involved with beyond the Gallery?
NM: There are always things brewing in a creative mind. Nothing is in the works as of right now but I really hope to accomplish some community art installations this year including some environmental art/design.
SW: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life?
While being constantly inspired by the people I meet in life, it’s hard to give credit to any one person for being my biggest influence. Professionally, I would have to say my former professor and current friend, Stephanie Grey who has really opened the doors into the creative world of graphic design is always someone I turn to for advice and inspiration. Otherwise, my family, my very large family, is always influencing and inspiring me with their stories, experiences, outlooks on life and never ending love and support!
SW: How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my free time outdoors hiking and exploring with my partner in crime, my dog, Archie. I also enjoy boxing, rock climbing, traveling and practicing mindfulness.
SW: Are you involved in the community? If so, how?
Currently, I sit on the board of a downtown merchants association in Clinton and volunteer my marketing and design skills whenever I can. I also do occasional community art installations with two of my friends from college, we call ourselves three arrows. We have created multiple installations made entirely of recycled and recyclable materials and displayed them in empty storefronts in downtown areas. Working for the Gallery, which is always hosting or participating in community events, also keeps me connected.
SW: What is your favorite quote?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This African proverb hangs in our office here at the gallery and it’s a reminder of patience, teamwork and integrity.
SW: What is a fact that few people know about you?
By now most people know about my heritage but it still surprises some when they learn I am bi-lingual. I learned to speak English and Danish simultaneously during my upbringing from my Mother who is originally from Denmark. I am very in tune with my roots, visit family and friends in Denmark often and have a natural affinity to all things Scandinavian, especially design, go figure!
SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be! Hopefully a little wiser, more cultured and doing what I love, which will undoubtedly be using my graphic design to give a strong visual voice and presence to organizations and small businesses who are doing good in the world.
GoLocalWorcester presents Central MA Up + Comers, a weekly profile of a member of the next generation as they are making their mark or charting new territory in the Central MA workforce and community. Join us every Thursday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of the local digital generation.
Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
Related Slideshow: 7 Art Galleries To Visit In Central MA
55 Salisbury Street, Worcester
The Worcester Art Museum, often referred to by its acronym WAM, is the most acclaimed cultural attraction in the city of Worcester. The world famous "classic American museum" contains over 35,000 pieces of artwork spanning over 5,000 years. Currently on display is [remastered]: A reinstallation of the Worcester Art Museum's paintings from the 16th-18th centuries provides a new look at Old Masters.
25 Sagamore Road, Worcester
The Worcester Center for Crafts’ Krikorian Gallery, in conjunction with Worcester State University, is committed to "sustaining craft as a vital part our community" through education, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. They are currently holding its Holiday Festival of Crafts 2013 this weekend.
25 Merriam Parkway, Fitchburg
The Fitchburg Art Museum is one of the cultural treasures of North Central Massachusetts. Though not quite as famous as its cousin to the south, the Worcester Art Museum, the Fitchburg museum still houses an impressive permanent collection of art spanning 5,000 years. Check out their current exhibition: Still Life Lives! - A celebration of the vitality of the still life tradition and its themes of beauty, bounty, darkness, fragility, and fleeting moments, which runs through January 14.
38 Harlow Street, Worcester
The Sprinkler Factory is a unique gem in Downtown Worcester and a true center for all the arts. Once a manufacturing plant, the Sprinkler Factory now provides space for individual artists to form their own studios and contains areas for music, dance, and other fun activities. The massive atrium on the second floor in the middle of the complex is available for local artists to show their work. The public is welcome to browse the artists' studios and galleries. An upcoming exhibition entitled Indoor Games , runs from December 7 through January 25, captures the spirit of creativity during the winter months.
960 Main Street, Fitchburg
Since its opening in 2008 by founders by Ann and Peter Capodagli, the Boulder Art Gallery has been committed to showing original and vintage paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures from the region's most talented artists. A true variety of work from both new and established artists is on display in a multitude of mediums and styles; check out oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels. Many pieces are also available for purchase.
660 Main Street; 657 Main Street, Worcester
The Aurora Gallery and the “GArtH” Gallery of Art at the Hadley are run by the organization ArtsWorcester, and both show the work of local artists, many of whom are members of the group. For a list of current and upcoming exhibits, click here and here.
44 Portland Street, Worcester
Since its founding in 2006, the Davis Art Gallery has made it its mission to promote the Worcester art community and create awareness of the local creative culture. One of the ways the gallery does this is by showing the work of local artists in a great variety of different mediums. Currently, you can see an exhibit by Emily and Robb Sandagata; Unearthed, which runs through February 7th.
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