Living Melody Collective includes five female-identifying Atlanta artists — Angela Bortone, Jessica Caldas, Danielle Deadwyler, Haylee Anne and Angela Davis Johnson. Four are artist-mothers; one is an artist cat-mom. They bring their kids to work when they can so the kids can see mom being creative.
The collective uses photography, dance, printmaking, painting, music and performance to engage with the community. It has done so in Atlanta, where the artists live, and this month in Tampa, Florida, as resident artists at Tempus Projects, where they’re creating a solo exhibition titled Living Melody Collective Presents Notions of Saintly Flesh. The month-long show opens March 1.
Their Saintly Flesh artwork responds to two questions: “What does it mean to truly support women, and what can be excavated from learned conditioning as well as conflict and joy?” The show confronts the idea of the artists as goddesses versus human beings. Living Melody members hope the exhibition will find an Atlanta date and home soon.
The women met at galleries, festivals and through Twitter in 2014–15. Each has an individual studio practice and uses the collective as a nesting ground for social justice and community-oriented work. As Living Melody, they can create on a much larger scale, using personal experiences to comment on topics affecting the world.
Their Living the Legacy II mural, seen in 2018 at the Center for Civil and Human Rights (and pictured at top), touches on the philosophies of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the poor and the homeless, housing affordability and gentrification. They painted their Hope for Georgia bus to encourage voter engagement during 2018’s midterm elections.
Follow Living Melody’s Tampa project on Instagram @livingmelodycollective.