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ONU Professor Has Work Accepted in “Monumental” International Project

Melissa M. Eddings-MancusoOhio Northern art professor, Melissa M. Eddings-Mancuso, has recently been accepted into the Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books Project (MIMB). She was one of 100 artists worldwide who was invited to MIMB, an exhibition that will travel to Spain, China, Argentina, Pakistan and Finland.

Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books Project is an exhibition that investigates the power of small-scale artists’ books. The books challenge readers with grand, powerful, urgent, and poignant content while the Project provides an intimate, economical, democratic and global exchange.

“I chose the words of Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa, 1863-1950),” explains Melissa, “a holy man of the Oglala Sioux Native Americans as the text and overall structure of the book. The pages, which are circles, are folded into fourths that form wedge shapes. These shapes provide the structure for the dome when the book is open. The dome provides a visual for Black Elks’ words:

Everything an Indian does
is in a circle,
and that is because the power of the world
always works in circles,
and everything tries to be round.
In the old days when we were a strong and happy  people,
all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation,  ?                               
and so long as the hoop was unbroken
the people flourished. . . .  ?                                
Everything the Power of the World does
is done in a circle. . . .
Even the seasons form a great circle
in their changing,
and always come back again
to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle  ?                             
from childhood to childhood
and so it is in everything where power moves.
Our teepees were round like the nests of birds,
and these were always
set in a circle,
the nation’s hoop,
a nest of many nests, where  the Great Spirit
meant for us
to hatch our children.

The Project was curated by Hui-Chu Ying, an associate professor of art at the Myers School of Art, The University of Akron. The original exhibition opened at the Southern Graphics Council 2009 Annual Conference called Global Implications at Columbia College in March.

“As soon as the Southern Graphics Council announced the conference in Chicago,” said Hui-Chu, “I created this exhibition proposal for the SGC artists: Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books. I thought this could be the perfect project to suit the program at Columbia College and its Center for Book and Paper Arts.” Hui-Chu asked artists, primarily printmaking faculty, to create six or more editions of miniature books for the MIMB project.

Now the exhibit is traveling to more than 35 locations throughout the United States and to a few international sites. The Project is scheduled to exhibit at Ohio Northern’s Elzay Gallery of Art in 2010.

Melissa is an associate professor in art at Ohio Northern’s department of art & design. She received her MFA in painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her BFA from Ohio University in 1992. She has taught at ONU since 1997, served as chair from 2000–2002, and currently teaches painting, printmaking and foundation courses in the department of art & design.

On campus, Melissa serves as the gallery director, the department’s study abroad coordinator and advises the Student Art League. In addition, she is a member of the University’s Planning Council, the Committee on Professional Evaluation and has served on the Faculty Affairs and the Cultural Affairs and Special Events committees. For a few years, she served on the board of directors for ArtSpace in Lima, Ohio.

Melissa has been accepted to numerous juried shows including ArtSpace/Lima, the Fiindlay Art League,  and the Ohio Art Leauge. She also has had work on exhibit at Thiel College, Bluffton University, Ohio Northern University and Edinboro University.

image: Circle, typewriter on handmade paper, photocopy, ribbon; 2.5" x 2.5" x 2"