ONU Alumnus Featured at ArtSpace/Lima
by Morgan Baughman
On exhibit at Artspace in Lima from Sept. 22–Nov. 9, 2007 is the work of Ohio Northern University alumnus Harry Melroy.
Melroy's art is fantastical, like looking at a bizarre, Technicolor fairytale. He says, "My subject matter is very arbitrary; it's whatever happens in the sketchbook. I draw from memory and imagination, and I enjoy playing with shapes until something seems to ‘click.' My inspiration comes from many sources. Stories and books I have read, movies, TV programs, first-hand experiences, dreams I might have had but don't remember, personal interests - all these things come into play."
That may sound hodge-podge, but, on the contrary, Melroy's work is very precise. A great deal of planning goes into what he sees as a cohesive theme: design/composition/form. Melroy says, "My work is all about design and creating visual relationships that are balanced and seem to suggest a sense of unity. Mostly it's lines, shapes, color and value all manipulated to achieve visual order. So, a figure, let's say a flying toothbrush with wings and eyes like an insect, appears in a work not because of a narrative need, but because of a compositional need. Color is used without regard for that figure, meaning that the flying toothbrush may be a muted green or intense blue depending on what the overall design appears to call for."
Melroy has been featured in several solo exhibitions in cities all around Ohio, including Tiffin, Findlay and Mansfield. He also has exhibited in Cleveland and Toledo and been part of regional and national conventions.
Of past shows, Melroy has said, "I want people to be able to say, ‘I like the work, even if I don't understand it.'"
Extending his knowledge elsewhere, Melroy teaches 7-12 grade students full-time at Mohawk Local School District in Sycamore and also acts as an adjunct professor for the University of Findlay, teaching a 2-D visual fundamentals class.