Honoree John Melillo

Southampton, NY Melillo J ProofJohn Melillo (retired) is an Oil Contemporary Realist Painter. He grew up on the East End of LI and is an avid fisherman. He is also a disabled Vietnam Veteran who uses painting as a Solace and Healing Mechanism.  Much of his art is inspired by these experiences as well as his Heritage of Southampton. He is based in Eastport and NYC. His Art is geared to DETAIL and STORY TELLING. His realistic presentation, though definitive, enables the viewer to create their own narrative. He started his career by taking numerous classes at the Art League of LI, Southampton Cultural Center, SVA, NY Academy of Art and the Met in NYC. He also has Business Certificates from Christies and Sotheby’s. He has been featured in many articles including “OPA, News 12 TV, Newsday, Southampton Press, Dan’s Paper, Hamptons.com, SVA Newsletter, Homeland Magazine, etc. John was chosen to present at the Parrish Art Museum his Art Journey about his Family heritage history for PechaKucha Night Hamptons this past June.

His Multi Media Series “Life Goes ON, Part 1 & 2” were Solo Exhibitions at Southampton Cultural Center in 2021 & 2022.  John Melillo’s Vietnam Journey is reflected through this “Life Goes On” Painting Series * painted from exclusive Original Photos he took while on tour in Vietnam.

John was a MP (Military Police Officer) in Vietnam. His job was Front Line Supervision of 26 MPs 12 hour shifts working 6 week days then 6 week nights. He had to supervise any situation Civil or Combat in Long Binh, which was the largest Military Installation in Vietnam involving over 40,000 GIs and 60,000 Vietnamese. 

In Addition, a short VIDEO Series was shown. Coming Nov 2023 stay tuned for "Life Goes On Part 3!" Reception on Veteran's Day!  PLUS, Over 60 PIECES of his additional works will be on view that were inspired by his experiences growing up in historic Southampton, Watermill and Sagaponack where his heritage goes back to the 1890’s.

John never painted before retiring when his PTSD Trauma became overwhelming. He was to realize this New Gift of ART as a Solution! “EVERYONE HAS THEIR VIETNAMS!” -be it a death in the family, an accident, a fallen relationship with friends or family, an illness, etc.“ How we deal with them TENDS TO DEFINE US”