Melissa Meyers, Director
A lot of people ask, “where are you from?” There is no specific place as Melissa hails from WNY – born in Niagara Falls and lived there for 7 years, then off to Williamsville through 9 th grade, then moving to Ashville, NY, graduating from Chautauqua Central School. She graduated from JCC with an Associates in Art, then moved back to Buffalo to graduate from Buffalo State College with a bachelor’s degree in Design. Her first art job was with New Era Cap Company, doing artwork by hand using acetate and Rapidograph ink pens to create and color separate the art for baseball caps. While fun and interesting, doing art in a 2”x2” space was rather limiting.
She left to work at Bee Group Newspapers, where digital art and computer technology was just coming into the workplace. Her husband was an engineer with General Motors, but with the ups and downs in the auto industry, they ventured back into the family business of McDonald’s. She was able to expand computer art to advertising McDonald’s in West Virginia where they moved to, when they purchased their first store. She was also very involved in the day to day operations and earned
a degree from Hamburger University (Yes, there really is such a place!) to become an official Owner/Operator with McDonald’s Corporation. While in West Virginia, they had 2 children, and decided they’d rather raise the kids closer to family in NY. The family moved and bought the eastern end of the Meyer’s family “patch” of McDonald’s restaurant in 2000. Things in the corporate world change and evolve, and McDonald’s is no different. The decision was made to sell the stores in 2010, and open up new ventures. Melissa opened The Ink Well, an art supply store in Olean, and moved it to Allegany in 2011 where there was more room, and she could offer more classes, and expand on picture framing. The business was very successful, but after years of many many long hours, Melissa decided to head towards retirement, and reduced the store hours, stopping the classes, and selling off the art supplies. Soon, she realized she wasn’t quite ready for retirement. When
the opportunity came up to teach visual art to K-12 th grade students at Archbishop Walsh Southern Tier Catholic school, she decided to take it, closing the store. After about a year, teaching consumed many hours, and she decided again to retire.
Meanwhile, Melissa and her husband bought a “fixer up” house in Bemus Point, to be a summer house, but as the work on it progressed, they realized with family so close by, and kids grown, it was time to downsize and move to Bemus full time. So, a week before the pandemic closed everything down, they put the house in Allegany on the market. As soon as the market opened back up, the house sold, and they moved to Bemus Point. Melissa has already joined the North Shore Arts Alliance, and the Rotary Club in Jamestown, looking forward to being able to help in both ventures.
Xavier Seubert, OFM, Director
Xavier John Seubert, OFM, STD holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from the Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany and is a graduate of New York University’s
Institute of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum Art. He is the Thomas Plassmann Distinguished Professor of Art and Theology Emeritus at St. Bonaventure University, and, until recently, Professor of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, NY. He has also taught at The Washington Theological Union and Villanova University. He has lectured and published articles and catalog essays on the relationship between religious symbolism and the artistic process, Franciscan and Byzantine art history and sacramentality. He co-edited with Prof. Oleg Bychkov of St. Bonaventure University Beyond the Text: Franciscan Art History and the Construction of Religion, published by FranciscanInstitute Publications in 2013 and Aesthetic Theology in the
Fr anciscan Tradition: The Senses and the Experience of God in Art, published by Routledge in 2020. He is presently working on a book on the sacramentality of art. He is a frequent lecturer at The Cloisters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was recently appointed Guardian of the community of Franciscan Friars at St. Bonaventure University