The beauty of recycling is artistically captured in her unique creations.
“Recycle, Re-create, Re-energize” is the theme of this highly acclaimed local artist who is fascinated with the after life of recycled products.
South Shore resident Melissa Lanitis Gregory recycles local newspapers in the creation of her papier mache art, which she produces in her Christmas Valley studio.
Old mirrors, recycled yarn, and other odd bits also find their way into some of the mixed-media work.
She recently started making recycled earrings, necklaces and art helmets. Yes, art helmets.
Her funky, functional and decorative art can be found in Reno at Artisans International and ClayNichols, and Riverside Studios in Truckee.
Mixed-media artist Melissa Lanitis Gregory came to Tahoe for 4 days…20 years ago.
Leaving her Assistant Art Director job in New York City for a waitressing job in Tahoe seemed like a no-brainer.
After years working in the local graphic design/advertising industry, Melissa was given a book on the art of papier mache, and has been creating unusual pieces ever since.
Inspiration shows up in odd places for Melissa. “I‘m fascinated by this wood my husband cut up from old fence boards. They‘re kindling, but I keep taking the cool-shaped ones and stashing them.” She also cites folk art, Peter Max, and her design training as influences. The colorful bowls, clocks, and decorative pieces are fun with a slighty mystical bent and a recycled soul.
You may have seen Melissa’s work through the studio tours, solo shows, local shops, and TAP‘s annual art festival. A full-size throne created from toilet paper rolls won Best of Show at WNCC’s annual Recycled ARTicles show. A second throne, “Not Throne Away”, benefited the El Dorado County library. And if you had lunch at the Blue Angel last summer, you may have seen “Bear Your Soul”, a blue fiberglass bear featuring a mirrored mosaic at his center, created for the Bears by the Lake event.
Of her work Melissa says, “I recently showed a new piece to a shop owner and she burst out laughing. You connect with my work on an energetic level. It’s not cerebral, it’s fun. Hopefully that comes through.”
To order your customized earrings, art helmet or bowls, visit her website at www.papermoonstudio.com.