, pub-2480664471547226, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
Home » » Hands In Art

Hands In Art

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 7/3/24 | 7/3/24

By Michael Ryan

PRATTSVILLE - There is a simple story behind the humongous hand that has lately been seen at the home of artist Michael Meli, along Route 23, between the towns of Ashland and Prattsville.

It marks, in science fiction style, his “Hands in Art” studio “because my hands have been in art basically my whole life,” Meli says.

The world contains other enormous appendages, such as “Mano del Desierto” in the Atacama Desert in Chile, as well as elsewhere.

Meli’s version is still evolving and relatively more playful, thus far containing  a wooden under-structure coated with styrofoam that will eventually be coated with cement, making it definitely dense.

“It’s going to be pretty heavy,” Meli says, laughing. “By the time it’s done, it will be 22 feet long and weigh 300 pounds.”

Creatively speaking, however, the massive mitt will be miniature, reaching out to the greater cosmos with a “nice to meet you” hand shake.

“Hands in Art” studio is much more than gigantic grasps. Meli also dabbles in tattoos, body piercings, other sculptures, paintings and murals.

“As an artist, I try to learn everything I possibly can to influence my work, no matter what medium I happen to be working in,” he says.

Meli was 4 years old when he began drawing, growing up on Long Island, walking to a nearby library for books on animals, sketching them.

He attended the the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on scholarship where fate, as it often does without asking, took him to an unexpected turn. 

“I found myself floundering and knew I had to change my life,” Meli says, enlisting in the Navy, serving four years.

Marriage and children and more change brought him to Prattsville where fate interceded anew. He was stricken with cancer, Hodgkin Lymphoma.

“I beat it,” Meli says. Not without a price. “It ate away three vertebrae in my back. I was almost paralyzed from the chest down. They had to fuse my back together to support me.”

Navigating those difficult medical seas, Meli now teaches art at Gilboa-Conesville Central School and continues his inner and outer journey.

“My belief system is anyone who has a passion for something will grow into it,” he says. Call (516) 316 5149 for artistic information.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options
Share this article :
Like the Post? Do share with your Friends.


Post a Comment