A Cheerleader for Artists

How Monique Meloche's Intelligent Optimism Helped Her Become a Master of Discovery

Talking Art with Chicago Gallerist Monique Meloche is an excercise in keeping up. Walking me arounf her exhibition with Arvie Smith last fall, Meloche sped from one idea to the next, her thoughts tumbling out in quick succession. How she was "stopped in her tracks" by thr eighty-four-year-old artist's "beautiful, sexy paintings." Her appreciation for his "explosive and electric use of of color and luminosity." Where she sees a hint og the "acid green glow" of Toulouse-Lautrec's nightlife or some of the "vibe" of Robert Colescott, a Smith contemporary, in the work. 


"Shes like a lightbulb," says the Chicago-based artist Candida Alvarez, who has been friends with Meloche for over twenty years and joined her roster of artists a few years ago. 


Tall, aided in part by her ubiquitous high heels, with an abundance of dark curly hair, her nails perfectly polished in sharp metallic hues ringed in gold, Meloche radiates energy. She has the physical presence and easy glamour of a former athlete who was in fact, a cheerleader. A self-described over-achiever, Meloche kept it all through elementary, middle, and high school years, then on into college. She was serious and competitive, even traveling the country for five years as a professional coach, teaching others the sport. 

January 1, 2023