Make your own free website on

Melissa Earley       

Fete Magazine, August 2011
"I've ended up surrounding myself with little bits and pieces of my own psyche, made manifest in beads."

Greenville Journal, July 2011
"..Earley 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.

Spartanburg Journal
, July 2011
"It's 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.

Greenville Journal,
June 2011
Allen 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.

SC 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 their sickbed. 

Greenville 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."

Carolina Arts, December 2010
Despite the 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."

events   |   gallery   |   info   |   mailing list   |   home