40 Under Forty: Melissa Fiorentino

Age: 35

Professional Artist


Whether it’s a business or community involvement, what inspires you?

Creation breeds rebirth and I feel that within whatever it may be that I am creating. It is inspiring to me to see others finding and exploring that within themselves. We all have the ability to create regardless of how differently we express it. Seeing others being so engaged in the arts and music has really inspired me to become more involved in bringing more to this town anyway that I can.


What aspirations do you have for yourself?

The largest aspiration is to travel, I have always had interest in archaeology and plan to start next year by going to Macchu Pichu and Easter Island. Pertaining to my artistic career, I just mainly want to grow and keep doing what I love. I get to basically stay home with my kids, paint and play music. I really appreciate the fact that I have the freedom to do so. 


What is your favorite way to give back to the community?

I love to donate my time to teach aspiring artists and also donate my artwork to raise money for the arts, cancer, etc. I am on the Board of Directors for the Magnolia Art Xchange and being a member of such a tremendous group of hard working individuals is an honor.  I am working with a local charity called “Picking up the Pieces” created by Michelle Pepin. Each quarter I am donating a painted oil portrait of a family member lost to drug overdose. The best way I could give back is to bring someone back to life through my art, even if it’s just for a second. 


What is your favorite thing about the Ocala area?

The growth. To be a creator in Ocala at this time is such an adventure. I meet new artists, musicians and professionals in all kinds of vocations and they all seem to be coming together to bring new experiences to our town. I love it.

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