Melissa M Button portrait

Melissa M. Button


A native of Arizona, Melissa M. Button received her B.S. in architecture at Arizona state university in 1994. She returned to ASU in 1998 to pursue an M.F.A. in painting, where she completed my studies in the spring of 2001. She currently teaches painting and drawing classes as a faculty associate in the Herberger institute of design at ASU. It was her studies in architecture that caused her to explore the delicate balance between the natural world and the way in which life imposes its structure upon it. Her work seeks to encompass these same ideas, capturing those moments where order/structure and chaos/nature merge with one another revealing an undefined beauty and balance that supersedes the individual and is a part of all things.

Button has long held a fascination with the natural beauty of wood. As a result her paintings have integrated the pattern of the wood grain into the image in a way that celebrates its unique surface and works as a foundation for the final image. When working with the wood, Button learned how to saw and mill panels to better expose the grain and character of different woods. In addition to the importance that surface has played in her work, Button is also inherently fascinated by things at the microscopic level…and has studied many natural forms that are invisible to the naked eye. This has driven aspects of her work to appear more organic and more densely complex than previous works, but they do tend to draw the viewer into a more intimate experience with the image.

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