HCX’s new team member: Onè… – by Keylah Mellon, Communications and Outreach Intern

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As a closed off individual, I’ve only ever found solace and myself through the arts (I still do). My father tells me stories of my child self enthralled by imagery, words, color and music. Growing up, my closest friends were artists. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, however, until I picked up a camera at the age of 15. I immediately fell in love with photography and how it helped me express emotions I had never been able to. I then found purpose: it had to do with my sensitivity to the human condition, the wonder and the spiritual power of art. Being able to create something beautiful out of nothing or to move someone in any sort of way is a drug to me. It’s also power: the power to inspire, stimulate and to motivate.

My country knows too well the consequences and reprimand of social inequality in all possible forms, I find that there’s an imminent need for social reform in Haiti and everywhere in the world; and what better tool than art to foster change, one of the lifebloods of the country. Though I grew up there, I’ve never felt connected enough to my Haitian origins. I left after secondary school to attend Hofstra University in Long Island. Trained in fine arts with a concentration in photography and minor in art history, and am now attending NYU for a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing.

In regards to social change and my background as an artist (it’s a sine qua non for me to be around art), I joined Haiti Cultural Exchange in the beginning of May 2015 as a communications and outreach intern to acquire some experience in the field, to remain in the field of art, to push and to promote Haitian culture. I find that HCX’s mission is very much in sync with my beliefs and is helping me grow as an artist and ultimately as a human being by discovering my roots in ways I have never been able to. I’m Keylah Mellon a Haitian-American photographer and visual artist. I am thrilled to be part of an organization with such integrity and I’m excited to push HCX forward as it grows and becomes more of a leading platform for Haitian art and Culture in New York City.

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