Melissa Bruhn excitedly debuted her first solo exhibit at Nickel Plate Arts in January 2020. Bruhn showcased a two-part theme, “Polarity.” This theme firstly highlighted the literally “polar” creatures who may no longer be with us in a few years, as their polar habitat is threatened or changing with the earth’s environment.

Secondly, “Polarity” explored the duality of human relationships. Bruhn says this of her thematic take on human interaction: “[Given] my strong sense of advocacy for any minority group and interest in power dynamics, I drift toward being a witness or voice of the voiceless…I often explore growth through trauma.” That growth is something she hopes shines through her artwork and brings important social issues to light. Her decades of work as a physical therapist greatly influence this body of work as well, adding another layer to what growth and repair mean in her work.

While Melissa Bruhn has really only been painting at this degree and volume for about a year, she says that she simply “must create!” Whether with photography or painting, she paraphrases Frida Kahlo, claiming that creating art “completes me.”