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    Elissa Melaragno
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    el@moriahstudio.com     828.674.4413
    Welcome to Moriah Studio


As I have spent a large part of my 30 year career, working within the community, 20 years in Hendersonville, NC, one will find a wide range of techniques within these pages.  From painting in the streets to large scale public commissions, I have tried to include my students.  Whether they have critiqued my work, been hired by me to assist, were involved in grants we received or contributed their own designs to the final outcome, it was a process from which we all benefited.  Where indicated you will see images of public art which incorporate my students work.

In 1993 I was asked by The Art Center of Hendersonville to teach classes at the newly organized facility.  I agreed on two conditions.  The first: I had to know that the center was stable and would be there for the students for many years to come.  The second: I would be given complete freedom using a unique approach which I needed to try. As a child, art classes were not enjoyable to me.  They were too much like school where everyone had to do the same thing.  In my classroom each child was using different materials and techniques.  Although this could have been a recipe for chaos, in short order each child became quite disciplined in the creation of their art.  Ages 5 – 18 worked in the same classes and learned from each other.

Today, although I have not taught since 2006, I still hear from former students who say that their years with me have made them fearless about trying new materials or techniques throughout their college years; from Parsons to RISD and from coast to coast.

Now as an arts coordinator, a project manager, and artist in the “Arts in Healthcare” field, I have fewer opportunities to add to my own body of work yet greater challenges placing art in the healing environment.  My greatest vision in to involve youth from elementary school age through college age in creating art for the medical community and perhaps arouse their interest in the “Arts in Healthcare” movement.