Mel Holston was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on January 24, 1939. He credits his father for his interest in art, although his father was not an artist, nor did he have any particular interest in art. He had a way of drawing a funny little man that looked nothing like a man. It peeked his interest and he took it from there.
A high school drop-out in his sophomore year. Mel worked at several local factory jobs before enlisting in the United States Air Force, where he served for twelve years. During that time he studied for, and earned his GED diploma, and satisfied the requirements for recognition from the Jersey City Board of Education.
Upon his discharge from the Air Force in March of 1969 he began studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on a part-time basis at night for three years that same year, while working a full-time day job. With the birth of his fourth child, and due to economic conditions, he was forced to drop out of FIT for a year.
Because of his veteran's status, and a special program offered at Jersey City State College ( Now New Jersey City University) he was able to resume his studies, graduating in June 1977 with a BA degree in art education.
He became a substitute teacher for several months before being contacted by the Board to teach at the Academic High School, and remained with the Jersey City School System for the next twenty five years.
Even while teaching he began his own body of work and has exhibited in various galleries, museums, outdoor and private shows throughout the continental US, France, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Although he considers himself a multimedia artist and has created representational work as well as colorful abstracts, his signature work has been the elegant pen and ink drawings of African life that is reminiscent of the tribal and ritual scarifications.