Jack Melville


I spent much of my youth wandering the prairie or working along side my father on horseback. My first artistic expression was inspired from these experiences. I was captivated by Charles Russel and his depictions of frontier life as well as the use of color and imagery in Native American art. In 1994, I attended the Institute of American Indian Arts on a scholarship. While this formal instruction built confidence in my ability as an artist and led me toward portraiture, I am still most greatly influenced by my father, a working cowboy, and my mother, a Sioux and Chippewa Cree Indian. I draw much inspiration from my unique upbringing.

After leaving school and moving to Idaho, I focused on historic imagery portraying Native American life. Moving to New Mexico, however, I found the images to be incongruous with the contemporary Native American experience. My time in New Mexico led me to further develop my love of portraiture and the process of capturing posture, personality and color in painting.

In my current work, I continue these explorations while ever incorporating life's changing inspirations. I am working on a new series that brings together many of the styles I have developed over the years with new subject matter. Portrait commissions, however, still provide the satisfaction of a personal connection that brings me closer to people and ties me to the world around me.

I am currently available for custom portraits. I work from real life and from photographs and am willing to explore any subject matter or ideas you may have. Please contact me at to begin a discussion.

Jack Melville


  • portraiture
  • painting


  • oil
  • acrylic
  • murals
  • tile mosaic