“Portals to Freedom” Melynda Van Zee

Melynda Van Zee uses spiral imagery to express the deep inner work necessary to finding equilibrium and energy to pursue a creative life. The spiral is one of the most commonly found design forms in nature and is symbolic of growth and transformation. From the galaxies to DNA to our fingertips, spirals are prevalent in natural formations and are one of the most efficient ways for something to grow. For the past ten years, she has used her painting process as a method of internal excavating to discover her path.

“FREE: Pathways to Freedom” Ankeny Art Center 2017

Melynda shares “My work is inspired by the challenge of intuitively transferring the invisible into colorful abstract shapes and forms. Working with a process of layering transparent acrylic paint on canvas, I seek to capture brief glimpses of the emotional and spiritual landscapes of my soul. My artwork arises out of quiet reflection and awareness of my life experiences. My goal is to awaken the viewer’s creative spirit through color, texture, and movement.”

“Centering Within” Melynda Van Zee © 2017

Melynda Van Zee creates acrylic paintings with vibrant layers of translucent paint enhanced by swirling dimensional line work.  She shares her fine artwork at art exhibits and shows throughout the United States. Her works are in the collections of numerous private and corporate collectors. She is the author of an art technique book, Painted Scrapbook Pages, published by Lark Books. Melynda earned her BA in Elementary Education and Art from Dordt College. Her studio is located in the heart of the prairies of central Iowa.

“FREE: Pathways to Freedom” Ankeny Art Center 2017

Selected Solo Art Exhibitions

  • FREE: Pathways Toward Freedom, Ankeny Art Center, Ankeny, IA (October-November 2017) 
  • Artist at the Edge, Edgewater Community, West Des Moines, IA, (January-February 2017)
  • Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield, IA (Januar, 2016) 
  • Bring Your Gift, George Daily Auditorium, Oskaloosa, IA (October-December 2014) 
  • ConTEXT, Joan Kuyper Farver Art Gallery, Pella Community Center, Pella, IA (June-August 2014) 
  • Life Palette, Wilcox Library Foyer Gallery, William Penn University, Oskaloosa, IA (February 2014) 
  • Inside Out, Galerie of Pella, Solo Show, Pella, IA (July 2009)
  • Emerging, Galerie of Pella, Solo Show, Pella, IA (July 2008)

Melynda Van Zee Acrylic Paintings
Solo Show
Warren Cultural Center Greenfield, IA

Selected Group Art Exhibitions

  • Light & Dark, Paintpushers Group Exhibition, Heritage Gallery, Des Moines, IA (October 2018)
  • Concurrent, Paintpushers Group Exhibition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA (January-March 2018)
  • Compression, Paintpushers Group Show, October 21, 2017, Gateway Lofts,1719 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309 
  • SKETCHBOOK. A collection of artists books., Art NXT Level Projects/33 Contemporary Gallery at Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL (September-October 2017)
  • Iowa State Fair Fine Art Exhibit, Des Moines, IA (August 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011)
  • Members Show, Ankeny Art Center, Ankeny, IA (December-January 2017)
  • Collision, Paintpushers Group Art Exhibition, Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA (December 2016)
  • 50 x 50 Exhibit, Octagon Center for the Arts, Ames, IA (November-December 2016)
  • 108th Annual Art Exhibition, Des Moines Women’s Club, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines, IA (February 2016)
  • Women Artists Show, Urbandale Public Library, Urbandale, IA (January-February 2016)
  • Local Color, Paintpushers Group Art Exhibition, Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA (December 2015) 
  • In Black & White, Paintpushers Group Art Exhibition, Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA (November 2014)
  • Iowa Artists, Regional Show, Albia, IA (March 2014)
  • Summation, Paintpushers Group Art Exhibition, Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA (November 2013)
  • Iowa Artists, Regional Show, Ottumwa, IA (April 2013) Peoples Choice Award
  • Converged Paths. The Journey of Two Women. Andrea Van Wyk and Melynda Van Zee, Joan Kuyper Farver Art Gallery, Pella, IA (March 2011)
  • Vault, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (April 2011)
  • Iowa Artists, Regional Show, Knoxville, IA (April 2011) Peoples Choice Award
  • Red Rock Arts Alliance Studio Tour, Marion County, IA (Oct. 2011, 2010, 2007)
  • Designer Showcase, Craft & Hobby Association, Chicago, IL (July 2005)
  • Artistic Designer Marketplace, Craft & Hobby Association, Atlanta, GA (Feb. 2005)


  • “Collision”, Paintpushers show, Social Club Des Moines, IA


    “Spheres of Complexity” Series by Melynda Van Zee

    Galleries & Showrooms

    Art & Frame on Main – previously The Perfect Setting, 13 W. Main Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158 

    Ed & Eva’s, Warren Cultural Center 154 Public Square, Greenfield, IA 50849

    Dashing Boutique, (With Passion Art Pendants from Melynda Van Zee Studio218 Main Street, Ames, IA 50010

    Octagon Gallery Shop, Octagon Center for the Arts, 427 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA 50010

“Paths: Seasons”  by Melynda Van Zee


Live Painting- Melynda is also available for live painting opportunities. She has painted live for school, business and non-profit events.

“Create Inside Out” painted live in San Jose, CA


Melynda at work in the studio


Melynda Van Zee in the studio adding final details to "Unraveled Fears"

Melynda Van Zee in the studio adding final details to “Unraveled Fears”


Unraveled Fears 48 x 36 Acrylic on Canvas 2017©Melynda Van Zee


Pathways to Freedom 48 x 72 Acrylic on Canvas