When Melinda Gray received her BFA in sculpture from California College of the Arts in 2012, she became one of the two percent of foster children to graduate college. This statistic has pushed her to make art as activism to empower the ninety-eight percent of foster children who can’t attain higher education. Gray was taken from her family at age eleven and put into foster care. Prior to that, her family was homeless for over three years. The true tribulations that surrounded Gray’s childhood were violence and neglect; both of her parents were drug addicts, and her father abandoned her family when she was a toddler.

Finding and pursuing her passion for art at a young age inspired her journey, and ultimately led her to where she is today. Since graduating from CCA, she has maintained a rigorous studio practice, largely centered around community arts. She is also an instructor, having developed new classes in stained glass, mosaics, and glass fusion, while leading many mural mosaic projects. These classes are held at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, McClymonds High School, Stained Glass Garden, and REALM Charter Middle School. The classes Gray has developed and the relationships she’s forged in the process are examples of the divine impact of art.