Instragram: @loney763 

Melissa Loney is an interdisciplinary artist from Omaha, NE (she/they, 1998) she received her BA in Studio Art from Hastings College in 2020 and is currently pursuing her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Arkansas. She exhibited work at ARC Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, {9} Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, In Passing New York City, New York, GHOST in Omaha, Nebraska, Stay Home Gallery in Paris, Tennessee, UNGRground in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Far x Wide in Brooklyn, New York. 

Artist Statement: 

My practice seeks to question generational histories of making and the understandings about making associated with them. Growing up in a home where women were always making crafts influenced my role and relationship to domesticity, viewing ‘home’ and domestic environments as a limiting space.


In the past, my work has taken the form of pairings and multiples of synthetically-colored garish, neon organic forms. Like their color, their size is determined in order for them to relate to one another through their narrative material processes. Resulting objects are installed on both the floor and the wall and range in size from approximately 3x3 inches to 3x3 feet. The theory that I based all of this off of is called proxemics, which suggests the distance at which you communicate resonates with the type of relationship that’s being communicated. Think about a clique, there's the “in” crowd and some “loners.” The closeness of certain objects joins them within a sense of visual cohesion compared to other forms that are scarcely placed. Much of my making is rooted in wanting to humanize materials used within a contemporary art space. When I say humanize, what I really valued was creating objects; utilizing materials that people had prior associations with (glitter, neon pink, nylon) —approachable.


The work I'm currently producing explores feminine histories through materials that are deeply personal. The reference material for this work comes from the remnants of my late grandma's cake-baking business. Discarded notes and magazines that family was going to throw away took on importance through object histories. This 'trash' became a way of exploring a personal history that is otherwise undocumented. There wasn't a storefront. This wasn't formalized. This all occurred in the home, where an often-flooded basement became a space of structurally-necessary making as a means of enterprising domesticity—crafting the cake empire of Iowa.


Personal recorders are the most accurate form of historical documentation because it's a true account from ourselves to ​ourselves​. These objects hold an undoubtedly personal history but also suggest a cultural one.Through my engagement with these materials, I'm personifying my grieving search for understanding. I am carving out space and time for me to grieve in a culture where grief cannot be external—this my invitation for the viewer to bear witness

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