Mel Justus (9/10/1944- ) was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is primarily a sculptor, preferring to experiment with various shades of glass, boldly geometric shapes, and branch-like supports. While studying at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Justus won the Wolfson Art Scholarship and participated in several different exhibitions, such as a joint show at the Asheville Art Museum, and a solo exhibition at the North Carolina Show in Raleigh. After graduating, Justus went on to gain notoriety by winning awards such as a National Endowment Fund bestowed by the Asheville Art Museum in 1976, and the R.J. Reynold Purchase Prize in 1977. Additionally, he continued to exhibit on a regular basis and was featured at such venues as the North Carolina State Museum and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts in Winston-Salem. He has taught classes at Opportunity House in Hendersonville, N.C., the Asheville Art Museum in N.C. and several other locations. Justus' work is part of the permanent collection of the Asheville Art Museum.