As both a visual artist and classically trained musician, I have long been fascinated by intersections between the disciplines. In my current artwork, I translate the linear, time-based format of music into spatial color patterns, so that what is normally heard in sequence can be seen all at once. Starting from masterworks by composers such as Bach and Bartók, my artwork blends color theory and music theory, revealing unexpected patterns that show the tonal and rhythmic complexity inherent in the music. The translations blend structure with fluidity, meticulous detail with the irregularity of hand-painted watercolors. They are made to look like a live performance sounds—full of precision, energy and variation.
Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy re-interprets music as color patterns, exploring ideas of translation, information/data, and how music weaves throughout human experience. Her RUINATION DAY project based on folk and blues music as oral history was recently exhibited at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia. In 2017, she was commissioned by Eastern Mennonite University (VA) to create 100 paintings based on a Mennonite hymn in honor of their Centennial, and by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church (PA) to create a series of works based on J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Melinda’s work was selected for Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY’s 2017-2018 Flat File program, and her artwork has been exhibited at Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia), Crane Arts (Philadelphia), The Art Gallery at City Hall (Philadelphia), 20*20 House (PA), Rowan University (NJ), and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival (VA), among many others. She is an artist member of InLiquid and a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia fellow, and she was a prize-winner in the 29th annual Faber Birren Color Award Show (CT). Melinda previously taught art for young children at Woodland Montessori School (VA) and has been a guest lecturer and visiting artist at Tyler School of Art (PA), Arcadia University (PA), Friends Central School (PA) and Finlandia University (MI). Also an accomplished musician, she currently serves as executive director for music education nonprofit LiveConnections and sings with the Chestnut Street Singers. Melinda received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from The University of the Arts and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University.
2006 The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA MFA, Painting
2003 Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA BA