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West Volusia Artists Inc. is highlighting Melinda Ellis Cummings as our June Artist of the Month. Her artwork Poetic Jewelry exemplifies her talent of combining organic materials, such as feathers, stone, arrowheads and even buffalo and shark teeth, into creations of beauty. Other found items like stones, metal, wood, seeds, bone and shells have been incorporated into her work, as well as keys, drawer knobs, discarded hardware, cogs and gears.

The primary theme running through Cummings’ work is a search for unexpected beauty. She is intrigued by the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi,” which focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life.

“On a daily basis, I see lovely variations on this theme that beauty is found in decay, discard and imperfections,” Cummings said.

Cummings is a native DeLandite. She has loved art in all its forms since she was a child. As a Stetson student, she studied with Dan Gunderson. Later, Cummings embraced Studioworks Creative Academy Online as well as YouTube videos. Once her talent evolved, she exhibited in art shows from New Smyrna Beach to DeLeon Springs, Lake Mary, Palm Coast and Sanford.

In her spare time, she enjoys photography, writing, traveling, gardening and cooking.

Cummings joined West Volusia Artists after reading about them in the newspaper. She is currently the vice president and co-chair of the activities committee. Her advice to other artists is to “Pursue what you love. Try new techniques, media and genres of art to discover what you enjoy the most.”

Cummings’ artwork is on display at the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center at 815 S. Alabama Ave. in DeLand.

West Volusia Artists Inc. meets at the Sanborn Center 9 a.m.-noon on the first and third Fridays from September through May. They meet to draw, paint and socialize.

The group also has art shows, goes on museum trips, and has art demonstrations and plein-air outings.

Call Judy Rowlett, president, at 386-738-5515 for more information.


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