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WAP: Michi Meko
11am - 5pm
It doesn't Prepare you for Arrival
2017/2018 Working Artist Project
This round of Working Artist Project was curated by Joey Orr, the Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.
About the Exhibition
It Doesn’t Prepare You for Arrival is an exhibition that seeks silence and the comfort of solitude. The wilderness can provide this solitude. However, there are countless reasons black people have felt unwelcomed in natural spaces. For some African Americans, spending time in rural spaces and areas that preserve the natural environment, such as State or National parks and campgrounds can trigger long-held anxieties about safety in the great outdoors. These phobias are wrapped in the blanket of White Supremacy. There are the fears of discrimination, the effects of segregation on the leisure habits of Black Americans, and the history of wilderness as a site of trauma for black bodies.
The mental calisthenics it takes to prepare oneself for arrival can be a wearisome exercise. The overexertion of thought can lead to fatigue. The mental strain of fear can block the opportunity to relax, forget it all, and connect to the natural world. This exhibition offers a pause, a moment to search for the transcendence that exists at the edge of day, before the sky falls into blackness.
It is a love letter.
About Michi Meko
Multidisciplinary artist Michi Meko (b. 1974, Florence, Alabama) The work incorporates the visual language of nautical wayfinding, the objects of buoyancy and navigation combined with romanticized objects of the American South as a means to communicate the psychological and the physical. He received a BFA in Painting from the University of North Alabama. Meko’s work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at Dodd Galleries, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA; and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Recent grants and awards include a Joan Mitchell Award, Artadia Award, MOCA GA Fellowship, DashBoard Co-Op Residency Grant, a Flux Projects Grant, a Wonderroot CSA Grant, and a residency at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Meko lives and works in Atlanta and is represented by Alan Avery Art Company.
The opening reception was held on Friday, November 30, 2018.
Michi Meko’s artist talk was held on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
Featured Image: detail of new work by 2017/18 Working Artist Project Fellow, Michi Meko. Image courtesy of Michi Meko.
Major funding provided by the Charles Loridans Foundation and the Antinori Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.