Beth Melton ’03, ’10, can pinpoint where she developed her love for art – by watching her mother create. “She could knit, crotchet, sew, quilt, embroider, draw and so much more,” said Melton.
Last updated 6/25/14
After working as a draftsman and commercial artist for years, Melton decided in her mid-thirties to formally study art. Attending Winthrop was the natural choice due to its familiarity – her mother is a Winthrop graduate - and location. “How fortunate for me that Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts also happens to be of the highest caliber!” Melton noted. She attended Winthrop part time, worked part time in industry and eventually full-time in Winthrop’s Office of Admissions.
From her first sculpture class, Melton was inspired by fiber and textiles. She has created site-specific fabric installations for Winthrop, Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, the Triennial at the S.C. State Museum and 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. Her work has been described as having a narrative style that is closely associated to the “life” of an object or the history of place.
Her career thus far has been filled with numerous accomplishments. She was an artist-in-residence at 701 Center for Contemporary Art; received an honorable mention for her handwoven shawl that was selected as part of a traveling exhibition through the South Carolina State Museum; received a research grant to study the woven work of Anni Albers at the Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, Conn.; earned an Excellence in Teaching Award presented by Phi Theta Kappa of York Technical College; and designed the official Winthrop tartan which was registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans.
Melton passes her art advocacy to others, and she is doing just that by teaching at Winthrop and York Tech. She also has opened Follow the Thread Fiber Studio in downtown Rock Hill. The studio, a personal creative space as well as a teaching center, weaves together cultural and historic textile traditions with contemporary artistic practice.
“I don’t know if I chose art or it was the other way around, but art as a profession has been a good career path for me,” Melton said.