Melanie Craig-Hansford


Download Melanie Craig-Hansford's resume.

Melanie is a contemporary Canadian Landscape artist and poet. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984 and a Bachelor of Art Education in 1985. In 1982 she studied Painting in Florence, Italy for a year. Melanie taught High School Visual Art in Alberta and Ontario 1986-2004 and in 2004 she took on the role of Teacher-Librarian at a high School in Kingston, Ontario.

Melanie retired in 2014 and moved home to New Brunswick, Canada. Melanie dedicates her time to her two passions: making art and writing poetry.
Since 2014 Melanie has been very active in the art and writing communities of Southern New Brunswick. Melanie was involved in The Arts and Culture Centre of Sussex for many years volunteering on the Board of Directors. She was in a group show there in 2016 (Stone by Stone) with sculptor Sheila Watters and a group show in March 2022 (Putting Down Roots). She has done many commissions and taught workshops and classes in drawing, acrylic painting and watercolour. She has been involved in many art festivals, art markets, and fund-raising events.

She will have a one-person show titled What My Eyes Can Hold at the Art Gallery of Grand Manan June 26-July 14, 2022, and a one-person show called Processing Cedar at the Saint John Arts Centre in January of 2023.

She is a member of the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick.
In 2018 and 2020 she won the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Dawn Watson Memorial Award for Best Poem
In 2017 she was granted the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick Mentorship Scholarship.
In 2012 she co-authored a book called Prayers for Women Who Can’t Pray which is available for order from the publisher at

Her poems have been published in books, chapbooks and journals since 2011.
From 1999 – 2011 she wrote opinion editorial column for the Kingston Whig Standard in Kingston, Ontario.


Artist/Poet Statement:

We see things not as they are, but as we are” Anais Nin

I believe that this quote sums up the root of my art and poetry. I believe that both artistic practices come from the same place inside me. To share the essence of who we are in the hope that someone will connect to that essence. My art and poetry are a record of my journey to the centre of myself, so to speak; a vehicle to communicate the experience of that connection and the feeling of “flow” when engaged in my artistic practices.
I knew that if I was going to heal from living a fast-paced life of working full time teaching high school in Ontario it had to be in the Maritimes. I longed to write and paint and immerse myself in a contemplative life of creativity. The Swiss visual artist and healer, Emma Kunz once said that everything you need to heal yourself you can find within 100 km from where you were born. I was born in Saint John. I had no idea how the words of Emma Kunz would resonate with me and that the landscape of southern New Brunswick would become so important to my creative process.

I used to visit my extended family on the shores of the Saint John River every holiday with an extended stay in the summers. I was free to play and roam and dance and climb trees, free of the constraints of school. The landscape here reminds me of that feeling of freedom. It is the last place I truly felt my authentic self. My landscape painting and Poetry investigates that feeling and feeds my need to share through words and images the importance of authenticity in our natural world. I also hope that bringing to life this connection in images and words, in some way, it will shine a light on the terrible ramifications of the climate crises and create a corridor of healing.
In the last eight years my art has clung to the image of the landscape but lately I have been exploring the idea of abstraction and the tension that exists between my subject and the painting as an object. I hope to explore this tension and go further into the world of abstraction.