Marcie Melancon has yet to come across a found object — in particular some kind of paper object (novels, phone books, magazines, etc.) that she hasn’t been inspired to make into a piece of artwork. The owner and operator of The Art Book (located inside Paul Schenayder’s Gallery) loves working in the mixed medium format of taking found items, mixing them with other non-related items, and blending the two or three or four items into a unique artistic expression.
Houma native moved to the New Iberia area with her husband Steven and children in 1990 after he relocated due to his job in the oil and gas industry. Melancon herself worked in the medical profession as a nurse for pediatricians before deciding to retire in the early 2000s.
It was during that time period that Melancon, a mother of four and grandmother of nine, rediscovered her passion for artistic expression. Eventually she opened up her own small shop and has since become a part of the local vibrant arts scene.
What is one of your earliest memories of being artistic?
I remember being 12 years old and I used to love cutting people or photos or advertisements out of magazines and then gluing them onto other things or making a big scrapbook out of them. I loved dealing with paper of any kind.
As you grew up, went to college and raised a family, that childhood passion for art was put on hold. When and how did you reignite that love for art?
I had retired from nursing and I wanted to learn how to do water colors. Of course I had to pick the hardest medium to learn and I found out quickly that it wasn’t my thing. So around that time Paul (Schexnayder) was having these night classes maybe like once a month where he was teaching people how to paint with acrylics. I had such a good time that night that really sparked me.”
Your artistic style is a blend of found object and multi-medium with a strong focus on utilizing paper. Why do you love using paper and books so much?
People usually don’t think of collage artwork when they think of books. But I love taking old books and ripping out the pages and inserting different images or scenes into those old books that someone has thrown out. You can collage on anything.
How supportive is your family of your artistic endeavors?
My husband has learned to ask me before he throws things anything away. He will call me up and ask me if I want him to bring home some packaging materials from his job and of course I say ‘yes.’ My kids jokingly call me weird and I love it.
What do you love about being an artist?
It is a distraction for me. It is therapeutic. I just love seeing all kinds of artistic works. I love to learn about different methods of artistic expression and try to use those methods or techniques and somehow incorporate them into my own work. I am doing something creative every single day.