Melissa “Mel” Kolstad

Bricolage I
6″x6″; collage; 2013

Melissa “Mel” Kolstad
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA


My artistic journey is a relatively short one – so far. I began making ATCs (artist trading cards) in 2006, and have branched out to larger collages hence. I am a self-taught artist.

As for my creative process – it’s easy to begin, hard to explain. I dive into my work most days not knowing what will become of the piece. I might begin with one idea and the end result may be something completely different. The only way I can convey how I know a piece is working is when my eyes unfocus and I am totally in the moment. I know a piece is finished when I step away from it for a few hours (or overnight) and I can’t edit any more out.


Melissa “Mel” Kolstad is a self-taught artist and is constantly learning. Her love of vintage ephemera is what led her on her art path; the combination of old paper items and collage proved irresistible. Beginning with her stamp collection at the age of seven to finding treasures in antique stores throughout her youth, all the way to the present – Mel’s inner artist seemed to be silently following her throughout her life. When she discovered ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) in the fall of 2006, those ideas finally had a name, and her dormant creativity was awakened with a passion. Since that time she has made her art her life’s work and has been very active as a founding member of Fond du Lac Visual Arts, a committee member of Tour the Town and as a volunteer docent. Mel’s work can be seen in galleries around Fond du Lac; the Gallery & Frame Shop, Fond du Lac; many issues of ATC Quarterly, a Canadian publication; and on her blog, Ephemeraology.


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Going Places
6″x6″; collage/encaustic; 2013

12″x12″; Vintage ephemera; 2011

14″x17″; Vintage ephemera; 2012

The Merrymakers 
10″x10″; Vintage clothing labels, thread; 2012