Balance… the body of my art attempts to visualize levels of living experience. I believe, our lives are not a set of easily defined givens, but a complex of experiences that require responses that reflect who we are.
Each day we engage in experiences with people and places and our responses express our understanding of those experiences. For example, sometimes our response to a situation may be very relaxed and informal as with friends, family and those who know us very well.
That represents one level.
With coworkers and with acquaintances we respond in a different and perhaps more reserved manner. In a formal situation we facilitate an even more reserved presentation of our selves, we may sense that we are less our selves and more a self that is required for the situation. In the course of any given day we may express several levels of our self to suit a situation. In aviation terms its known as situational awareness, knowing where you are at any given moment with a response required to keep safe and balanced.
My art reflects the multifaceted levels of living experience and balance. Look at the imagery, staircases, bubble tops with indications of something going on below the surface and corners that disappear into shadows. One level hovers over another in search of a balance and a sense of wellness.
Each time we engage in experience we test the limits. We may feel compelled to explore the limits of our ability. In the course of our lives we may find it difficult to maintain our sense of balance.
Why is balance such a central part of our life composition?
Balance gives us a sense of place, a feeling of wellness and knowing. Like the compositions of my art, balance in life is achieved through the living experience of trial and error. We keep exploring our options until we discover a balanced self. In my art I keep exploring my visual options until I discover a balance I want to express. Adaptation is also a part of searching for a balanced life. In my art, I explore the use of images that I call upon again and again in an adaptive presentation that expresses the story I want to tell.
I call these repeating images my visual language.
All the elements of my composition are arranged to tell a story. Some of the images that are repeated and can be found in my art are circles that represent divine presence, looking over creation, without beginning, without end. Staircases may represent the unknown, possibility as well as reaching for the divine. Stick and crescent images represent our imploring of divine intervention, prayer. Guide wires from which elements of the composition hang are representative of a level of divinity, an order to the universe instead of a random infinite abyss.
Through the years, I found my body of artwork connected by a symbolic language that seemed to have universal appeal and give voice to my understanding of the world around me. As a language, my visual images seemed to present few boundaries from which I could express the stories I wanted to tell.
Over time I began to realize an underlying formula that seemed to establish a rational for the composition of the images I created. I learned that my visual language had a power I could call upon to help my understanding of the world seemingly filled with so many ambiguities, some serious, some comical, some secular and some profoundly spiritual.
2013 — Viridian Gallery, New York, (group exhibit)
2012 — School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (group exhibit and sale)
2012 — Viridian Gallery, New York, (group exhibit)
2009 — Viridian Gallery, New York, (solo exhibit)
2008 — Viridian Gallery, New York, 40th Anniversary (group exhibit)
2007 — Viridian Gallery, New York, (group exhibit)
2006 — Fountain Street Gallery, Cape Girardeu Missouri, (group exhibit “Big City Concerns”)
2004 — Viridian Gallery, New York (group exhibit)
2002 — Laura Erlich Gallery, Marblehead, MA, “Masterworks Exhibit”
20th Masters: Chagall, Miro, Picasso, Calder, Frankethaler, Barnet with special exhibit by Jeff Melzack
2002 — East Bridgewater Library, E. Bridgewater, MA, “The Nature of Things” (two person exhibit)
2002 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, Fall Salon, (juried group exhibit)
2001 — East Bridgewater Arts Festival, (juried group exhibit)
2001 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, Fall Salon, (juried group exhibit)
2000 — Wainwright Gallery, Cambridge, MA – “Recent Work”, (solo exhibit)
1999 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, – Fall Salon (juried group exhibit)
1999 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, (group exhibits)
1999 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, Director’s Prize
National Prize Show, (juried group exhibit)
1999 — Helen Bumpus Gallery, Duxbury, MA, (solo exhibit exhibit)
Esther Conant Memorial Prize
1998 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, (group exhibits)
1997 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, (group exhibits)
1996 — St. Botolph Artist Foundation, Boston, MA – St. Botolph Society Artist’s Foundation,
Artist Grant Winner’s Exhibit
1996 — Fuller Art Museum, Brockton, MA, “ARTWORKS A Celebration of the Creative Diversity of Our Community” exhibit,
(curator and exhibiting artist)
1995 — Cambridge Art Association/University Place Gallery, “An Invented Language”, (solo exhibit)
1994 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, 50th Anniversary First Prize, (juried group exhibit)
1990 — Monmouth, NJ. Festival of the Arts, (juried group exhibit)
’89-’91 — New Art Forms Gallery, Red Bank, NJ, (group exhibits)
1989 — Monmouth, NJ. Festival of the Arts, (juried group exhibit)
1989 — Julia Saul Gallery, Sudbury, MA, painting/drawing (solo exhibit)
1989 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, Fall Salon (juried group exhibit)
1988 — Julia Saul Gallery, Sudbury, MA, recent paintings (solo exhibit)
1988 — Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, (juried Spring exhibit)
1988 — Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, (juried group exhibit)
1987 — University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, Union Gallery, (two person exhibit)
1986 — New England Science Fiction Art Exhibit, Springfield, MA, (juried group exhibit)
1986 — Boston City Hall, Boston, MA “Kingston Gallery at City Hall”, (group exhibit)
1986 — Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA “Two Poetic Views”, (two person exhibit)
1986 — School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, (juried exhibit and sale)
1985 — Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA, (group exhibit)
’85-’86 — Helen Shlien Gallery, Boston, MA, recent works
1985 — School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, (juried exhibit and sale)
1985 — New England Science Fiction Convention Art Exhibit, Boston, MA, (juried group exhibit)
1984 — Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA, (two person exhibit)
1984 — New England Science Fiction Convention Art Exhibit, Boston, MA, *Prize Ribbons: Technical Excellence, Overall Presentation (juried group exhibit)
1984 — Berkley Gallery, Meriden, NH, Second Annual National Drawing Competition,
* First Prize – small work category
1983 — Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA, (group exhibit)
1983 — “June Art in the Park” Boston, MA, *First Prize – Watercolor Painting
1982 — Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA, (new members exhibit)
1981 — Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln, MA, (solo exhibit of recent works)
“Convinced that art is a tool for self-discovery and clarification of life experience, Melzack uses it as such in his teaching, if art reveals self, Melzack comes through as an individual of humor, eclectic whimsy and imagination, and a consummate draftsman to boot… At quick perusal, Melzack’s imagery looks like a Joan Miro rip-off. But prolonged inspection reveals, in ever more minute detail, that this artist has syntaxes and geography’s all his own.”– Marty Carlock
Writes for Art New England, Public Art Review other publications. She is the author of “A Guide to Public Art in Greater Boston” published by Harvard Common Press.
“I kept coming back most often to the work by Jeffrey Melzack, his finely wrought images hover, like Paul Klee’s or Escher’s… his world here is dreamlike, full of trap doors and stairs that lead nowhere… There’s a quietly upside-down, inside out enchantment going on that feels exactly right, as if this is what you came to art for in the first place…”– Dorsey Post, The Dorsey Post
Review of Viridian Gallery group exhibit “Disconnected Realities”
“Melzack uses colored pencil, watercolor and oils in landscapes and symbolic objects that evoke magical and whimsical worlds reminiscent of the works of Joan Miro and Paul Klee. For Melzack art serves as a means of self-discovery, and one of his interests is in freezing those moments of anticipation and decision, when it is clear that events are about to unfold…”– Milva DiDomizio, The Boston Globe
Review of Melzack solo exhibit “Art of An Invented Language”