Untitled photo
Untitled photo

Contact: melinameza@comcast.net

Online Store for prints, wearable art scarfs, greeting cards : melinameza.net

About Melina Meza

Growing up on the coast of Northern California inspired within me a profound respect for the beauty and healing power of Nature. As a constant ally and muse, it awoke something deep within me: a passion to teach people how aligning themselves with the natural world could elevate their sense of well-being, joy, and belonging. This has not only informed my capacities as a teacher of yoga and seasonal wellness but as a photographer as well.

I was fortunate to be exposed to some extraordinary photography at an early age. It was not uncommon for restaurants and stores in the town where I grew up to have large prints of famous Ansel Adams or Brett Weston images on the walls. They made a striking impression upon me: I saw how photography could elevate nature’s beauty, transforming the mundane into poetic works of art. Given this, I wasn’t surprised that when I discovered my first 35mm camera that I fell in love immediately.

I spent the next two years in college focusing on photography studies, discovering the works of artists who profoundly inspired my artistic vision. In addition to Adams and Weston, my early influences included Robert Mapplethorpe, Sebastião Salgado, and Imogen Cunningham, all of whom opened my eyes to seeing the sensual nature of the world in complex shades of black and white, without the use of color. Their exquisite use of light, expression, and intimate connection to subject continues to inspire me today.

Upon purchasing my first iPhone camera, I began exploring picture making with the yogic concepts of dedicated practice and non-attachment as my companions. In 2012, I embarked upon a Photo of the Day project through which I challenged myself to take and post one photo on Facebook each day. What started out as a commitment to taking a photo each day, turned into a six-year project that became a daily ritual of creativity and connection with the world around me. At first, I thought I was going out to take a photo—but in the end it was more like the photo found me. It was then that I fully realized that the creative process can’t be forced; when in sync with my daily flow, creativity seemed to find its own way through me.

Eight year ago, I embarked upon an evolutionary shift in my photographic style when I began mentoring with Tony Rizzuto from Photographer’s Breakthrough, who introduced me to the Fuji camera and in-camera multiple exposures. The ethereal, layered luminosity of my images are attained by a meditative process of discovery. By playing with motion, texture, and light, I change something recognizable into an abstract photograph, one in which there is room for the viewer to create their own story or interpretation of what they see.

Since 2012 I’ve been showing my work at yoga studios, galleries, and in catalogs for retreat centers including Esalen Institute and Breitenbush Hot Springs. In 2016, I created a studio gallery in my home in Oakland, California, where I have been hosting annual art exhibits ever since. It is a space to not only to show my own art but to also feature the work of others, to celebrate other artists and the local arts community.

Through a camera’s lens, I partner with Nature to co-create beauty, images that offer transportive experiences that are vivid and yet serene, full of surprises as well as approachable, immersive yet comforting, and mood-shifting while also being thought-provoking. My creative alliance with Nature—the place in which I find my joy, alignment, and deepest sense of belonging—leaves me grateful and in awe each and every day.

Poetic Nature Collection - Limited Edition Book - 2022

Group Exhibition 2022, “Shades of Gray”, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA

Solo Exhibit

2023 June 8th SAVE THE DATE: Opening Reception for my upcoming solo show at NYCA2 Gallery opening in Benecia, CA

2022, “Pause”, Next Space Coworking, Santa Cruz, CA

2022, “Poetic Nature”, Home Gallery, Oakland, CA

2022, “Pause”, The Lightroom, Berkeley, CA

2021, “Following the Light”, Home Gallery, Oakland, CA

2018, “Enchanted Landscape – Iceland”, Home Gallery, Oakland, CA

2017, “Wonderment” Home Gallery, Oakland, CA

2016, “Dreamscapes”, Home Gallery, Oakland, CA

2014, “Yogis in Nature”, Mountain Yoga, Oakland, CA

2014, “Yogis in Nature”, Berkeley Iron Works, Berkeley, CA

2013, “Branching” Rare Bird, Oakland, CA

2012, “In Season and On the Go”, 8 Limbs Yoga Centers, Seattle, WA

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