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Five questions with AHA! featured artist Nathan Meltz

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Nathan Meltz
Photo by: Silvia Ruzanka

Nathan Meltz is a Troy-based artist who is a lecturer in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Originally from a community along the shore of Lake Superior, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MFA from SUNY Albany. He is married to his wife Abby and they have an 8-year-old son.

Who has been an inspiration in your work?

Jack Kirby (classic comic book artist), Chris Ware (contemporary comic book artist), Hannah Hoch (Dada Collagist), John Heartfield (anti-fascist collagist), the Feelies (weirdo punk band). Every week it’s something/someone new, as part of my job is to keep researching new things that related to or inspire my own art practice.

What are you most proud of about your work so far?

My work has been in a gallery, enjoyed by kids, laughing at a video of a giant baby monster robot torturing its parents. My work has been used as posters in political protests. Related to my studio practice, I’ve run a grant-funded free afterschool kids art program now for two years, with kids having fun churning out cool projects. I’ve shown my art at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. These things have all given me a sense of accomplishment.

Are you working on anything new right now?

I’m currently working on a series of prints that are a re-imagining of 1930-1940’s American anti-fascist paintings and graphics.

Best advice or tips for other artists?

Persistence. Most of the good museum/gallery shows/film fests I’ve been in I only got into after being rejected the first time. Or the first two or three times! Figure out how to keep making the work better, making the applications better, and keep trying (and don’t get yourself down on rejection).

How do you take your coffee?



Learn more about Nathan with this AHA! clip and watch the preview and full episode online: