Street-Smart Artist


YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT based on her sunny personality, but Melissa Uroff likes to spend time in dark spaces. The Sacramento artist processes her photographs in the darkroom. “I learned photography in a darkroom. My dad gave me his camera when I was 13,” says Uroff. “I still use that camera.”

Don’t be fooled by her dated method; her artwork gets plenty of current-day exposure. Uroff was selected in the first phase of Sacramento’s Capitol Box Art Project to create designs for traffic utility boxes. She’s founded Tube media, painted murals around California, and is one of at least 82 visual artists who will participate in ArtStreet, a massive multimedia gallery happening this month.

Although she works in several mediums, photography is her main thing. “I think most creative people are into multiple mediums. I went through a period when I said yes to everything,” says Uroff. “Now I pay my mortgage from photography.”

Uroff often creates cyanotypes, describing the blue-toned prints as huge right now. “Everyone was Photoshopping, and now they’re getting back to getting their hands dirty.”

What’s the plan for Uroff’s ArtStreet installation? Picture a 19th century doctor’s office with X-ray machines and historical photographs built into lightboxes.

ArtStreet takes place Feb. 3–25 at 300 First Ave. Learn more about Uroff’s work at