Melissa Smedley is no stranger to the local art scene. Currently based in Salinas, she’s not only an artist, she’s also a writer, educator, podcaster, blogger, public arts designer and consultant. You can see her fingerprints all over the freshly installed sculptural gates at Moon Gate Plaza, an affordable housing project by MidPen Housing located in Salinas’ Chinatown, in which she acted as a consultant. Presently, she has two collaborations including a video project entitled Courage Within Women Without Shelter and King City’s Lesnini Field. See her work at melissasmedley.net.
Rachelle Hester doesn’t practice her art in any small way. It’s probably because she earned her bachelor’s from CSU Monterey Bay’s Visual Arts Department, where art is meant to be seen by the masses. Fittingly, during her undergraduate years, she specialized in large-scale paintings. She returned to her alma mater as the lead painting assistant for the campus’ vision mural and finished up the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Skylight mural. Though it’s not the same as seeing her expansive work in person, you can also view some of her work on her website, toohappytoday.wixsite.com/rachellhester.