Living during a time of heightened eco-awareness\, one must question how their own consumer indulgences aid in the decline of their sur rounding environment. In my current project\, titled Reef Cycle\, I am collecting the toilet paper and paper towel rolls I personally use over a six-month period and am transforming these brown cylinders into a sculptu ral coral reef. Due to the location of the exhibition\, San Pedro\, CA\, I chose to reference the current dilemma of dying coral and the bleaching ree fs in the Pacific Ocean. Knowing the material itself would never survive in these conditions\, I utilize the cardboard rolls to portray something that exists submerged in saltwater. These sculptures are created entirely from recyclable materials (including the water-soluble adhesives)\, and they wil l be broken down at the end of the project. The objective of this endeavor is to shed light on how much material a single person consumes when it's co nsidered a necessity and the impact that can have\, both environmentally an d visually. 

Investigating notions of value and permanence\, I u tilize primarily found materials to create artworks that evoke natural form s. These artworks not only employ imagery from the organic world\, but they also have a trajectory\, or lifespan\, that mimics all things found in nat ure. Being resourceful\, I use what materials are available in my immediate environment towards creating a new object or installation\; often a medium is chosen for its ephemeral quality. External perimeters (such as size con straint\, time limit\, or material use) are set in place to provide a struc ture to create the artwork. With this type of artistic practice\, the idea and object are developed in tandem with both parts playing an equally criti cal role. 

While art can be used as a way of making a mark beyon d your time\, I am not striving to establish permanence with this project\, but rather engaged with the work-in-progress. Even when the artwork is exh austed\, I try to revive the materials into something useful or break them down to be regenerated\; and\, as a result\, my creations endure a life and death cycle similar to the subjects that are portrayed. 


Growing up in New Orleans\, LA\, Melise Mestayer was exp osed to a rich artistic culture that highly impacted her decision to become a visual artist. After completing her BFA from the School of Visual Arts i n New York (2007)\, she moved to Los Angeles to further pursue her artistic career through graduate school. She obtained her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design (2011) after receiving the Board of Governor's Fellowship. M elise currently resides in Redondo Beach\, CA where she maintains an active studio practice. Her abstract sculptures and installations made from prima rily reclaimed materials have been in group and solo exhibitions in Califor nia and Louisiana. Her objects are included in both private and corporate c ollections\, and she has been contracted for commissioned artworks. Having received a Teaching Artist Fellowship through the Armory Center for the Art s in Pasadena\, she also spends her time as an arts educator at the Armory and the Manhattan Beach Art Department.

LOCATION:Angels Gate Cultural Center\,3601 South Gaffey St.\, Box 1 \nSan P edro\, CA 90731 SUMMARY:Reef Cycle\, Melise Mestayer END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTSTAMP:20180119T195341Z UID:234232 DTSTART:20121028T160000 DTEND:20121028T180000 LOCATION:Angels Gate Cultural Center\,3601 South Gaffey St.\, Box 1 \nSan P edro\, CA 90731 SUMMARY:Reef Cycle\, Melise Mestayer END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR