Melisa Cadell apprenticed in her father’s bronze foundry in Texas when she was young. We can assume she learned a lot under his tutelage, but it is her intensity and sensitivity to her subjects that grabs us and holds us captive. This too was learned at an early age when she did mission work “I was so young that this experience really stuck with me. So many of the women had to work so hard each day just to survive,” she says.
What adds significantly to the interest and intensity of the work are her surfaces and finishes, which are very involved. Cadell pours empathy, love and talent into the ceramic sculptures she creates and presents us with much to think about and feel.
Cadell says of her work: “Things come to me in story first. The images and stories blend together and I don’t censor them. Once I get the head on, that sets the tone. A face can pretty well tell a story and the expressions always come quickly to me. Adding all of the other layers is a process and that brings the meaning into completeness.”
Cadell received her BFA in Art Education and in Drawing and Painting at the University of North Texas. She teaches at Appalachian State University and East Tennessee State University. Cadell currently lives and works in Bakersville, North Carolina with her husband and two young children.