Chris Miller (972) 788-2599
(RICHARDSON, TEXAS) How do we honor the meaning of friendship and the potential loss of that relationship? Dallas artist Melanie M. Brannan struggles with this question while presenting a vulnerable yet joyful series of paintings that are on display in the Forrest and Virginia Green Mezzanine Gallery at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts March-April 2021.
Brannan has painted a “Celebration of Friendship” which includes more than 20 paintings that chronicle her friendship with Maryann Wegloski as her friend struggles with a diagnosis of nodular melanoma.
“I hope you will feel my gratitude in these paintings reflecting things Maryann loves, things we laugh about together, and our shared experiences,” said Brannan. According to Brannan, her friendship with Maryann has made her a better person, a better artist, and a better friend.
Brannan is donating 50% of the proceeds from the show after commission to AIM at Melanoma Foundation. The AIM at Melanoma Foundation (AIM) is the largest non-profit international organization focused on increasing support for melanoma research; promoting prevention and education among the general public and medical professionals; and providing comprehensive and easily accessible melanoma resources for patients, survivors, and caregivers.
From whimsical to emotionally raw, each painting details cherished moments in their relationship. During treatment, as the women returned from a doctor’s appointment, Maryann made a reluctant request. Could they make a quick stop for a sandwich? She was craving a McDonald’s fish sandwich but was embarrassed to bring it up. Both women laughed as they realized their mutual passion for an old McDonald’s favorite. “You are the fish in my Filet-O-Fish®” is painted in the iconic style of artist Wayne Thiebaud, and chronicles this memory and their ritual of sharing this meal regularly.
Another painting in the series, “Nothing Beats Kindness,” pays homage to the Amazon best-selling illustrated book, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” by Charlie Mackesy. According to Brannan, Maryann gifted her with a copy of this book in honor of their friendship. “The book is about friendships,” said Brannan, who was deeply moved to tears as she notes a favorite sentence uttered by the horse, “Sometimes just getting up and carrying on is brave and magnificent.”
“I can’t see her now because she’s in the hospital,” explains Brannan, ruminating on the loss of their weekly adventures. “Every day I go into my studio and paint for Maryann. It just helps me.”
“A Celebration of Friendship” will be on display in the mezzanine gallery through March and April. Due to COVID restrictions, the entire show will also be available for viewing and purchase on www.urbanartistmarket.com starting March 1.
Melanie M. Brannan is an accomplished painter and educator. She holds classes for several private groups and various institutions, including the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, Parish Episcopal School, the Episcopal School of Dallas, and the Creative Art Center of Dallas. She also serves as a certified educator for Golden Artist Colors.
– High-resolution images are available upon request.