by Caroline Tomlinson, Communications Content Manager
Even at a young age, Jim Mellick was artistically gifted. His Middle School teachers would often ask him to complete drawings to help illustrates lessons during school. It was clear early on that Jim would become a successful artist, though he never could have predicted what that would look like.
Raised in Wellington, Ohio, as a pastor’s kid, Jim set off for college to pursue his passion for art. He always wanted to share his talents through teaching, so he pursued teaching positions at the undergraduate level, so he quickly began his career as an art teacher, teaching at Houghton University, Calvin College, and other schools. It wasn’t until he was 60 years old that he came to Cedarville and started the sculptor program with very few resources.
No matter where Jim was or what he was doing, he was always thinking creatively. Even into retirement, Jim has used art as his expression of thought and beauty.
As a patriot, he has always had great empathy for veterans and their sacrifice for their country, and he wanted to honor them in some way.
But how can you portray the horrors of war in a way that captures your audience, and not turn them away? How can you make hurt beautiful? In his years as an artist, he learned the allegory is a softer way to make a point.
For Jim, the answer was simple: man’s best friend.
Thus, Jim started his Wounded Warrior Dogs art journey. In this collection of carved wounded dogs, man’s best friend, depicts veterans from WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and other wars.
People’s love for dogs adds another level of compassion to this exhibit. Eye-less dogs with prosthetics present an allegory for the horrors of war.
Through his artistic abilities, Jim has created a beautiful display that provokes thought and compassion.
Listen here as Jim shares his story on the Cedarville Stories Podcast