Senior Faculty & Lead: Organizational Development, Appreciative Inquiry, Art Psychology & Creative Coach.
Oona founded Art for Self-Reliance (ASR) in 2007 while she was an undergraduate students in Mumbai styling Psychology. ASR designed programs within the aftercare system to guide healing through sustainable skills and opportunities in art and fabrication, enabling individual empowerment.
In her second avatar, she works with art organizations to articulate and leverage their vision and design their operations. Oona is inspired by leveraging creativity in the service of self and others, along with expanding the influence of art as a channel of abundance and well-being. She believes that art and artists can be made accessible by re-constructing the definition and intent of self-expression itself. Oona is a practicing artist and an art professional. Her practice encompasses ‘gestural abstract’ painting and she has showcased her work in the US, Italy, China and India. Her work can be viewed at oonadmello.com
She has also served on the board of the Wilson Bridge Mosaic and was Board President for the Open Wall Gallery for the 47th Alderman Ward in the city of Chicago and currently serves as an advisory board member for YouUbuntu Foundation. She has been involved in various Chicago Public Schools and community-based public projects. Oona holds two Bachelor Degrees, the first being in Psychology from Mumbai University, and the second in Fine Arts from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Additionally, in service of the development of art organizations, she holds a Master’s of Science in Positive Organizational Development & Change from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio.
In addition to the above, and to deepening her artistic practices, Oona’s attention is on creating frameworks that support artists and help art organizations create structures of efficiency, and innovation at the level of the individual, organization and community through learning art entrepreneurship.