Successful Atlanta artist, Northwest alumna to host local exhibit

Photo: Atlanta-based artist Melissa Payne Baker, a native of Hernando and a Northwest Mississippi Community College alumna, will debut her “Art for Every Pallet” exhibition at the Northwest Art Gallery on Monday, Oct. 3. The exhibit will continue through Nov. 11. (Courtesy photo)

Northwest Mississippi Community College has announced that Atlanta-based artist Melissa Payne Baker, a 1996 graduate of Northwest, will debut an exhibition of her work entitled “Art for Every Palette” at the college in October. 

The show will open at the Northwest Art Gallery on the college’s main campus in Senatobia on Monday, Oct. 3, with an opening reception to be held on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 5-7 p.m. The exhibition will remain on display through Friday, Nov. 11. 

Baker studied business at Northwest before going on to The University of Mississippi and earning a degree in marketing. 

“Starting Northwest in 1994 at just 17 years old, the education I received as a business student was the perfect first step that led me to my successful career,” she said. 

Baker discovered her passion for art early in life, learning from generations of artisans. The Hernando native began her professional art career in 2006, and it quickly evolved into a full-time business. Now, she spends her days working in her Atlanta studio. Her work has been published in Traditional Homes, House Beautiful, Southern Home, and The Atlantan, among others. Her work has also been featured in designer show homes across the Southeast. 

“In my art, I love to celebrate the beauty around us, layer by layer, unfolding life through color and texture onto my canvas,” she said. “Different mediums allow me to express different ideas in my abstract work. Strongly influenced by interior design, my art flows onto walls creating movement on the canvas, yet calming emotions within the viewer. I strive to convey the sense of calmness through the complexities of life. These emotions, I paint from my heart, and I hope my collectors feel each time they view my work.” 

In 2012, Baker felt the need to create smaller artsy pieces, and created an extension of her brand, Art for Every Palette. This unique, hand-painted collection can be found in boutiques and galleries around the Southeast. In 2019, StyleBlueprint named Art for Every Palette among its “10 Southern Brands You Should Know About.” 

Baker said she very much looks forward to her return to the college through her career as an artist. 

“For all of the wonderful opportunities that Northwest provided, I feel a deep sense of gratitude,” she said. “It is such an honor to be back in my home state of Mississippi for this very special exhibit.” 

The “Art for Every Palette” exhibit will be open to the public. Northwest Art Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m.-noon. For more information about Melissa Payne Baker’s work, visit melissapaynebaker.com. For more information about Northwest, visit northwestms.edu.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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