Bravo © 2014, oil stick on canvas, 18x24 inches, $60
Melanie Maz unknowingly began her art career in the spring of 1996. Her first paintings were done on large pieces of brown packaging paper, which she taped to her college dorm room walls for decoration, unaware they would have any future significance.
A self-taught artist from Southern California, Melanie painted in her youth but aspired to be a musician. She began studying and performing violin and piano at an early age and continued her studies at Goucher College in Baltimore. In 2000, Melanie moved to Boston, and began painting again. Friends suggested she exhibit her artwork in public, but it wasn't until the spring of 2002 that Melanie began building a portfolio and researching shows. She invested the money she had originally intended to use for piano lessons into frames for her paintings and decided to make an attempt at being an artist for one month. Before the month was over, Melanie had sold her first painting and had several shows lined up. Her second show, at a Boston area restaurant, ended in the sale of four paintings, purchased by the restaurant's owner.
Since June 2002, Melanie has sold 127 paintings and has had exhibits throughout the greater Boston area. She's done shows at artist markets, coffee shops, restaurants, music schools, medical centers, book stores, and performing arts centers, and has been commissioned to do paintings and CD covers. She has participated in Somerville Open Studios and the ArtsUnion Studio Tour in Somerville, and exhibited paintings in the 2009 "Illuminations" show at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
Melanie has donated paintings to The Art Connection, a nonprofit organization that expands public access to visual art. She has also donated paintings to various other non-profit organizations for benefit auctions and raffles, including Brigham and Women's Hospital's 2013 "An Art, Wine & Chocolate Affair." In 2012, Melanie organized a fundraiser, "Reach Out," for the Creative Arts Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and donated proceeds from her painting sales to the program.
Melanie's paintings are characterized by simple designs, bright, bold colors, and black outlines. They are inspired by music as well as her personal life. Although Melanie continues to work with acrylic (and oil) paint, she did switch from packaging paper to canvas in 2004. Melanie believes the point of art is for it to move and be seen by as many people as possible, and thus, mostly shows her art in alternative spaces.
In addition to being an artist, Melanie is also a violinist and pianist who performs and teaches private music lessons. If you are interested in lessons, please visit her music studio website, Maz Music Studio.