James 'Mel' Someroski
Mel Someroski was never a man to limit himself- not geographically, not artistically, not occupationally, not sociologically. Looking at accounts of his life brings home to the reader how wide his interests were, and how far his capabilities ranged.
Born, educated, and with his work principally centered in the Midwest, Mel nevertheless reached out from this geographic center to Sri Lanka, Austria, Poland, Nicaragua, Colombia, as well as most of North America.
Artistically also Mel did not narrow his view. New materials and processes seemed to intrigue him. He was a master enamellist. Mel was equally comfortable and skilled in more informal ways of working metal and enamel as he was with traditional methods, so his work ranges from large steel panels to exquisite plique-a-jour pieces. He was able to work in many fields, in fact, in the whole spectrum of fine art and fine crafts by becoming a master artist in weaving, enameling and performance art and teaching these subjects along with drawing and ceramics at Kent State University.
He worked with all sorts and conditions of people: cottage weavers, university students, the ill or handicapped, public school children, industrial leaders, fellow artists.
Mel Someroski was a creator of art. He was a teacher of students. It is hard to know which occupation is foremost, but one can’t imagine that the time and energy which he gave to teaching would have happened without a strong drive and commitment to his own art-making. The work of distinguishing whether he was more teacher or artist is up to the individual and the individual’s experience of Mel.
Lists of his accomplishments tell strikingly about Mel’s open vision, many abilities, and diversity of occupation: artist, craftsperson, teacher, supporter, encourager, art advisor, fundraiser, committee worker, administrator, organizer, juror, curator, founder, nurturer, advocate.