Mary Unson- 30 Years of Pyromania, a retrospective exhibit of the evolution at Arts on Granada
Mary Unson’s and Paul Hart’s eyes meet as he sang the Allman Brother’s “Sweet Melissa,” at Unson’s art exhibit opening at Arts on Granada on Friday, Sept. 15.
Without words, she thanked him.
Her first solo exhibit, “Mary Unson – 30 Years of Pyromania, a retrospective of the evolution of my gift” has a definite goal – to raise money for the Volusia County Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Unson knows the strain, financially and emotionally, of having a child undergoing cancer treatment. Her daughter, Melissa Bell, died on Oct. 19, 2006 at age 19, after a five-year battle with leukemia.
Along with Unson’s wood-burned creations, Melissa’s art was also on display at the gallery, and prints were being sold for $10 each.
“It’s for Volusia County families who have children fighting cancer,” Unson said. "All of the money will be donated to the Volusia County Childhood Cancer Foundation."
Unson created a special child’s table and chairs, combining wood burning with an acrylic wash, in a theme Melissa was passionate about -- the loss of rainforests.
“In a sixth grade social studies program on the disappearing rain forest, Melissa became socially aware, and she began advocating,” Unson said.
The table will be auctioned off at the Glitter & Gold Gala on Saturday, Nov. 4. The event, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, was rescheduled because of the hurricane. The event is sold out.
Unson sees the table being used for special grandmother/grandchild teas. Or, she said, “You could take the legs off and hang it on the wall as art.” Two large round pieces of art, hung on the wall, illustrated her suggestion. Both come with legs to be used as tables.
Unson, who works full time as an MRI technician at Radiology Associates at Twin Lakes, is also a member of the Florida Women’s Art Association.
Gallery Director Megan Corbett said the gallery survived the storm with no issues.
“We opened on Wednesday (Sept. 13) with normal hours and had Jeremy Pappa’s show that night,” Corbett said.