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Community Gallery: Melissa Schappell: Environmental Factors

March 17 - August 19, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, March 16. 6:30-8:30pm

Artist Melissa Schappell recognizes the power of art to spark conversation about a challenging subject, our mental health. She channels her personal struggles with an anxiety disorder into her art. Schappell breaks down societal stigmas surrounding mental health by encouraging dialogue around issues of common concern.

EnvironMENTAL Factors focuses on the external influences that can affect our mental health. Schappell draws from firsthand experiences, extensive medical research, and the personal stories of others to explore the impact of PTSD, childhood trauma, and prenatal stress to name a few. She combines drawing, painting, and collage into detailed layers for us to interpret. Throughout the works are a set of symbols or clues to help us decipher the narratives. A paper boat signifies the idea of impermanence, while a trio of islands suggest isolation.  

These thought-provoking pieces have the power to raise awareness and new insights into this this important and universal topic. Each artwork is an invitation to delve deeper to find your own personal connections.

Melissa Schappell lives in Richmond, Virginia where she maintains her full-time studio. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Science Art Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been shown nationally. She has received several awards, including a Best in Show at d’Art Center's National Juried Exhibition and the Award of Excellence in the Virginia Artist Juried Exhibition 2017 at Charles H. Taylor Arts Center. MOCA would like to thank the artist for her help in realizing this exhibition. 

Organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Curated by Alison Byrne. 

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