By Terri Spilman
Every picture tells a story and for 11-year-old Melina Becker who was adopted from China, her captivating story told through pen and brush landed her a spot as featured artist of the month at Artichoke Designs in the Carmel Arts and Design District.
According to Melina’s mother Lana Becker, what started as a routine class assignment blossomed into a breakthrough of self-discovery as Becker used illustrations and watercolor to draw how she imagined her orphanage in the mountains of Guilin, China where she spent the first 18 months of her life.
After sharing the artwork on Facebook, word of the project and Melina’s journey spread fast among the artist community in the Carmel and Arts Design District.
“I heard about this intriguing piece of art from Stephanie Marshall of the Art’s and Design District and contacted Melina’s mom to see about displaying it for the gallery walk as my feature art,” said Vicky Earley of Artichoke Designs. “My criteria for feature art was that the artist could not have displayed publically before and the art should have soul. Melina’s art fit perfectly! I found the background of the piece to be captivating and every time I look at it, I discover something new.”
Melina’s parents celebrate the expression of her past. “Adopted children go through struggles that are unique to their journey. Anytime they express feelings that they tend to keep hidden, it is wonderful for it allows for open communication, growth and healing,” Lana said.
For Melina, the chance to be a featured artist has been life changing. “I just want to give many thanks to Stephanie and Vicky for just encouraging me to keep on going with art and for making me feel terrific about the work I did! I cannot believe people I have never met before this would want to do this for me,” she said.
Melina’s art is on display at Artichoke Designs at 240 West Main Street.