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  • Melanie Siegel '85
  • Cha Cha Cha
  • 2019
  • Mixed media (upcycled paper)
  • 27 x 12.5 inches
  • Courtesy of the artist

Melanie Siegel spent lots of time in Hendrix’s Art Department, even though she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. There she learned about both the technical and conceptual sides of art through classes with Professors Don Marr and Bill Hawes, both of whom she remembers as great instructors. After graduating in 1985, Siegel illustrated children’s books and magazines. Her work appeared in publications across the United States, South America, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, including in Highlights children’s magazine.

Siegel briefly returned to Hendrix in 2008 to audit Art History courses with Dr. Rod Miller. Siegel says these classes sharpened her understanding of art and continue to inform her artistic practice. In 2018, she earned an additional bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Central Arkansas. She now runs MSiegel Design in Conway, Arkansas.

When Siegel and her husband visited Hakodate, Japan in 2019, she purchased a set of embroidered handkerchiefs from a Japanese store called Cha Cha Cha. Siegel refashioned the bag in which these handkerchiefs came, creating the art piece, Cha Cha Cha. This wall hanging incorporates found materials, which is an uncommon theme in Siegel’s art.

She admires the quality and simplicity of the paper, as well as the repetition in its title and pattern. She also appreciates the freedom of interpretation presented by the paper’s repetitive design, which, among other things, reminds her of Roman aqueducts and cemetery headstones.