While artist Melissa Belanger has always had a passion for artistic expression and a love for Halloween, it was only recently that she focused her creativity on the October 31 holiday. Rather than capturing fright, Belanger’s art celebrates Halloween delights.
“My version of Halloween is certainly a lot more cheerful and nostalgic,” the Hudson artist says. “Halloween has become so gruesome and violent in recent years, and that’s not what I’m all about.”
Her Halloween pieces incorporate vibrant colors and round shapes, as well as traditional symbols and figures of the holiday such as black cats and jack-o’-lanterns.
“I like to call my art ‘Halloween with a wink,’ ” Belanger says.
As a self-proclaimed small-town gal, Belanger makes her home in the St. Croix Valley, due in large part to the artistic inspiration she finds living here in the community.
“I love the pure beauty of it. So many painters live out here because of the simple, natural, artistic beauty,” Belanger says. “[The St. Croix Valley] has a small-town feel, with proximity to awesome resources in the Twin Cities.”
Some of Belanger’s work will be featured at the Ghoultide Gathering Halloween Bazaar in Chelsea, Mich., on October 3 as well as Hudson shows this month and in December. Additionally, two of her projects were featured prominently in a cover story in Better Homes and Gardens’ holiday craft magazine’s August 2015 issue.