Melinda Mead Scharstein’s two photographs for Charleston Supported Art’s Winter share are part of a larger series that she refers reverently to as “vulnerable landscapes.” Her prints “on the radio,” and “some kind of love,” are portraits of structures that are situated precariously in a climate of sweeping gentrification and development. Scharstein’s work seeks to catalogue and document buildings that she views as critical to the architectural and cultural landscape of Charleston. These photographs on archival cotton rag paper are meant to honor and celebrate the unique beauty of these spaces, and at the same time offer an anticipatory elegy for them.
Born and raised in Summerville, SC, Melinda spent her formative, young adult years on the West Coast and the Third Coast. Her work is fueled by interests in both the personal, and the temporal. The images she creates seek to engage tender subjectivities— attachments to people and to spaces, as well as a poignant awareness of the change inherent in each passing moment. She is captivated by the vibrant within the ordinary, by brilliant color and satisfying geometry, and by a sort of sweet spot that can only be found at the intersection of the humble, the sentimental, and the beautiful. Scharstein has studied at the Center for Photography, Trident Technical College, the College of Charleston, and Penland School of Crafts. She is currently represented by The George Gallery.