"I've ended up
surrounding myself with little bits and pieces of my own psyche, made
manifest in beads."
Journal, July 2011
will be at MAC headquarters...working on “Pinko,” a portrait of South
Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the first overtly political piece she has
ever created. Haley unsuccessfully tried to eliminate state funding
of the South Carolina Arts Commission. “I think any artist in the
state knows what Nikki Haley’s stance on the arts has been,” she said.
“I’m sure they’ll see the irony of it being created in a publicly
funded art gallery.” The Nikki Haley piece, which will be about
35-inches wide and 27- to 30-inches tall, will have a little more than
9,000 beads. It will take Earley about 70 hours to finish.
Journal, July 2011
hard not to take it personally when your 9-to-5 job and your after 9-to-5
job depend on people at least being educated in the arts."
--Artist Melissa Earley on why she is making a portrait of South Carolina
Gov. Nikki Haley as part of her exhibit at the Metropolitan Arts
Council. Haley wanted to end funding for the state Arts Commission
but the legislature overrode her veto.
Journal, June 2011
Coleman, a member of CAFfeine and the director of the Pickens County
Museum, said CAFfeine artists take a common word or theme and interpret in
their own ways. Adornment was a logical choice for an exhibit that was
going to be a part of the tattoo shows, he said. Tattoos are body
adornment, a general enough word that could still be interpreted in many
ways by the artists, he said. “Sometimes, it’s obvious,” Coleman
said. “Some need explanation.” Spartanburg artist Melissa Earley, who
started her career as a jewelry designer, made a beaded replica of an
Eastern coral snake. “It’s more and more difficult to do or wear
anything to freak out the squares,” she wrote in her explanation.
Insider, Museum of the Week feature, January 2011
Upstairs you will find Melissa Earley’s 10+, a
retrospective of the artists’ most significant works. Much of Earley’s
art incorporates the use of Native American bead weaving, a technique she
learned as part of her 15-year career as a jewelry designer. Although all
of the pieces in the exhibit are fascinating, the one that haunts me most
is titled “Wave Goodbye.” A one-dimensional (sic) human
silhouette made of 50,000 glass beads lies crumpled in the sheets of a
twin bed as if the spirit of a departed loved one has left their mark on
News, December, 2010
"Upon entering the side gallery where Earley's
“10+” show is installed, the viewer is at once challenged to
acknowledge the artist's grief over her mother's unnamed illness and
eventual death...Despite the heft of her message, the work through which
she speaks is at once fascinating and engaging in its intricacies, color,
imagination and allure."
Arts, December 2010
often bright colors and seemingly whimsical images in much of her work,
much of the work does examine difficult themes, such as illness and death.
Earley explains, "Grief is one of those experiences that we all
share, and yet there is still something of a taboo in talking about it
publicly. Emotional pain makes others uncomfortable and keeps us somewhat
relegated to the outside until we 'get over it'. And yet it's absolutely
natural and very necessary to the healing process, so I wanted to bring it
out into the light and share my experience with the viewer, with the hope
that we will both feeling (sic) less alone."