Paiute artist has work on display at Nevada Legislature

Melissa Melero-Moose's "Translating Paiute." Nevada Arts Council photo.
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO)-- Melissa Melero-Moose, a member of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, has her art on display Nevada Arts Council’s Legislative eXhibition Series (LXS) Gallery inside the Nevada Legislative Building through April 26.

Six Nevada artists will be displayed during the session. Lolita Develay of Las Vegas has her “Facts and Figures” painting on display April 29 to May 17 and Patricia Wallis of Reno has her “Bits and Pieces of the Silver State” painting on display May 20 to June 7.

Melero-Moose finds inspiration for her mixed media creations from the landscape and culture of the Northern Paiute of the Great Basin, the council says in a release. Her exhibit is called “Translating Paiute.”

“Willows, tules, cattails, and pine nuts are all very important staples to the Paiute people, being sources of food, shelter, and implements made with artistic intention,” she says in the release. “I consider these works to be a perspective of my tribe and culture through the eyes of a Native woman, mother and artist.”

Her ideas of applying willow and other objects to the canvas came from her family coming together to make each part of her son’s cradleboard.
“From the willow alignment to the beadwork for his cradleboard hood, I saw each part separately before it was assembled and wanted to document that series of creation,” she says.

Melero-Moose, who grew up in Reno and lives in Happy Valley, layers organic objects, sand, an acrylic washes to create a pictorial view of the Great Basin told through a textural surface.

“These protruding images and highly textured surfaces transform from two-dimensional canvas to three-dimensional objects when I attach the willow, pine nuts, or found objects to the surface,” she said. “I view these works as a personal collaboration of my culture, individual development and curious expression of the world around me. My intention is to share with others the beauty of the Great Basin area, people and culture.”

To learn more about the artise or to purchase her work, go to