Martin returns to art roots in Alberni

Melissa Martin has taken over as art administrator at the Rollin Art Centre. Martin replaces longtime administrator Gareth Flostrand who recently retired.

Melissa Martin takes over as art administrator at the Rollin Art Centre.

Melissa Martin has come full circle as she relaunches her art career at the Rollin Art Centre. Martin started as the new arts administrator at the gallery on July 4, replacing Gareth Flostrand, who retired after nine years in the position.

“I’m getting excited about (art) again and doing what I love,” she said. “It’s a position I hope to grow and to widen our audience.”

Martin grew up in New York with the influence of her artistic father, Derek Seddon, who was one of the founders of Art in the Park at Stanley Park in Vancouver in the 1950s.

She transferred to the University of Dayton, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and since then, art has remained a passion for her.

Martin moved back to Vancouver in 1988 and to Port Alberni in 1991, when her husband Trent was transferred here. They have raised two sons, Ellis, 15, and Foster, 11, who play hockey competitively.

“Galleries have been a huge part of my life,” says Martin, acknowledging her father, who still paints landscapes in oils. She started her own interior design business, Chadwick Interior Design, in 1993 and has designed interiors and marketing concepts for commercial and residential properties.

In the early 1990s she started a design review board in the city to help businesses create a cohesive look, but a lack of commitment from business owners led to the board’s demise.

In 2008-09 Martin worked as a museum assistant at the AV Museum, working at McLean Mill and helping hang displays at the Maritime Discovery Centre (she painted the mural inside the lighthouse gallery). She also spent 10 years as a Fall Fair director in charge of the floral and horticulture building.

Martin says her goal as the new arts administrator is to steer young children towards the arts, and to bring art to children. She hopes to do that through the schools, although she hasn’t yet approached the school district with her thoughts.

“That’s my vision,” she said. “to excite them (about art). Kids need an outlet; some need more than academics. I was blessed to hve that in school and I had parents who were very supportive of the arts,” she said.

“Art is the first to go (with budget cuts) and I think we need to bring it back to these children.”

Martin welcomes people to drop by the Rollin Art Centre with their feedback, and says volunteers are always appreciated.

The Rollin Art Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Casual car show will put the drive into food drive

Port Alberni’s Cars and Coffee will wrap up with a food drive in September

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read