Born June 19, 1973 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Melvin L. Nesbitt Jr is a studio artist based in Washington, District of Columbia. He’s a painter, illustrator and, collagist and, mostly self taught but, in his thirties, Melvin began taking art courses at the University of the District of Columbia and Washington Studio School. Melvin has had work featured in several student shows at both institutions, group shows in DC and South Carolina (West Main Artists Co-Op, DC Arts Center) and has work in private collections throughout the country including the Spartanburg County Public Library in South Carolina. In 2018, Melvin was juried into STABLE, a community hub for the visual arts in Washington, D.C.
The images are pages from the picture book I wanted to read as a boy. These are stories of my old neighborhood (as I remember it), a SC housing project my friends and I affectionately called “Tobe.” The imagery attempts to exploit the joy of poor black American children rather than the trauma. Collage is the perfect medium for storytelling because it brings together disparate pieces to create something all together different, much like the fragmented elements, memories of events, and flights of fancy that make up our individual stories!