Since 2002, Melanie Brewster has designed and fabricated jewelry from discarded antique and vintage pieces. Her jewelry has been sold in stores across the country including Black Bear and Brooklyn Collective (New York); Salt Lake Citizen, Tempest Couture, and FRESH (Utah); Hapa Collective (California); the Harn Museum, Loop de Loop, Wild Iris Bookstore, Persona, and Etoile Boutique (Florida). A portion of sales regularly goes to benefit socially good organizations such as the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Planned Parenthood (among others); for details on current benefit runs (i.e., for Emily’s List), check out shop updates on Etsy.
She also works as a visual artist, specializing in collage. American Flora is a surreal collage series commenting on the position of diverse women in the current sociopolitical ecosystem of the United States. The collages portray women in athletic power poses, but their heads have been replaced with botanical elements like flowers or vines. She started making collages in reaction to the 2016 election as a way to illustrate the disorientation and pain that many women were bearing silently. One of her pieces, “in the garden” was recently featured on Of A Kind and another was used as the cover image (issue 21, 2019) of the literary magazine Mochilla Review. As a part of the launch for this issue, the piece was projected during a dance performance and poetry reading by the incomparable Kwame Dawes. She was also a part of the 2019 group show and charity run for Postcards from the Edge by Visual AIDS.