Michi Meko's Kazuko Exhibit Is At Cress Gallery

Sunday, February 4, 2018
?Michi Meko
?Michi Meko

The Cress Gallery of Art at UTC will present Michi Meko as the Spring 2018 Diane Marek Visiting Artist in conjunction with his exhibition “Kazuko”. 

The exhibition dates are Feb. 6-March 22.  Diane Marek Series Visiting Artist Series activities will be held Monday-Thursday with an artists’ lecture on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Benwood Auditorium, Room 230, EMCS Building, corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets, followed by an 
Opening Reception directly across Vine Street at the Cress.  The exhibit is open to the public and admission is free. 

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. 

Review for Michi Meko: 

Michi Meko’s multidisciplinary approach combines common materials with an iconography of humble objects to create stunning visual metaphors of African American heritage and experience building upon themes of resilience and purpose, remembrance and spirituality. 

The title of this exhibition is a combination of the Japanese words “kazu” meaning oneness, harmony, and peace, and “ko” meaning child. Typically feminine in gender, Kazuko in numerology possesses qualities described as “visionary”. Mr. Meko’s Kazuko, the “peaceful child”, endeavors “to perfect”.

Within an installation of sculptural elements and soundscape, Mr. Meko will feature a series of recent mixed media works on paper for this exhibition. “They’re all new directions,” Mr. Meko explains about the physical process. “It’s a system I’m making by layering, trying to understand how materials lay on top of each other, or in relationship to each other…to understand what (these materials) can do.” With paint, pencil, gold leaf, diamond dust, collage, or whatever the work seems to demand, surfaces become rich with mark, deep, and iridescent. Throughout appear Mr. Meko’s characteristic navigational notations and sensory references to water. 

Important to the overall environment of the gallery’s space is the incorporation of Mr. Meko’s signature objects. The common cast-iron skillet serves symbolically as an anchor, or as a vessel providing sustenance, or as a soul, a goddess, a gathering spirit. As Mr. Meko observes with warm humor, an iron skillet “will outlive you if you take care of it” much as nurturing and fostering those in the present can have an indelible effect upon the future.

Within this new work, non-objective compositions serve as portraits of souls released from needless circumstance. Influences drawn from rural southern culture and contemporary urban subculture reflect the complexities of our current experience. Water symbolizes oceans of loss or the springs of transformation and new beginnings. Objects and visual effects go beyond their inherent nature to conjure thought about what is real in life, as poetic equivalents of shimmering surfaces transcend material substance to evoke the spiritual realm of Orisha, the goddess, and the life force Ashe. 

For over a decade, Mr. Meko has steadily maintained an artistic practice and an active community presence in his Atlanta base that has generated a growing reputation across the Southeast. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, with recent solo exhibitions at Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta (2015), The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2016), The New Gallery, Austin Peay State University (2017), and The Lamar Dodd Gallery, University of Georgia (2017). He has served as artist-in-residence at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the Savannah College of Art and Design Printmaking Department, and the non-profit artists’ space Pony Ride, Detroit, Mi., among others. Mr. Meko has received grants from Beltline Atlanta, Idea Capital, Wonderroot, Flux Projects, and Dashboard Co-Op.  He was a 2005 and 2008 finalist in the Forward Arts Foundation Award for Poetry, and his writing has been published in the internationally distributed periodical Art Papers. In just this past year, Mr. Meko received the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art’s Working Artist Project Grant, an Artadia Grant Award, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Born in Florence, Alabama, Mr. Meko holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the University of North Alabama and is currently represented by Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta. For more information about the artist, visit www.michimeko.com and www.alanaveryartcompany.com 

After 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends, visitors to the Cress may park free in any nearby lot not marked “24 hour reserved”. Before 5 p.m. on weekdays, visitors may find limited nearby street parking or park in the 5th Street Garage near MacKenzie Arena for a $4 fee and stroll across campus to Vine St. For more parking information and lot maps visit http://www.utc.edu/auxiliary-services 

For more information about the exhibition and the Diane Marek Series community and campus events, visit www.cressgallery.org, like the Cress Gallery on Facebook, or contact Ruth Grover at ruth-grover@utc.edu or 304-9789. 

If you require accommodations for this event, please the UTC Disability Resource Center at 425-4006, email Michelle-Rigler@utc.edu a week prior to the event.

Michi Meko Oil Spot #3 2017-18
Michi Meko Oil Spot #3 2017-18


Wilson Road Group Community Meeting Is Sept. 25

The next Wilson Road Group meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 25, 6:30 p.m. at Ridgeland High School Theater at the corner of Highway 2 and Happy Valley Road.  The topic for community discussion will be the upcoming public vote for Walker County Commission on Tuesday, Nov. 6.  "Shall the governing authority of Walker County be changed from a sole commissioner ... (click for more)

YA-hoo Fest Features 35 Authors For Teens And Pre-Teens

Southern Lit Alliance and Chattanooga State Community College’s Writers@Work program present Chattanooga’s first ever young adult book festival, YA-hoo Fest, on Saturday, Sept. 29. The free festival will take place on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy., from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  Featuring 35 authors of young adult literature, YA-hoo Fest ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, a former Hamilton County jailer, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

My dear friend, longtime public servant, Mr. Harold Austin, will be greatly missed. He was with the state of Tennessee and Hamilton County for many years. Doyle Ray Marler * * * Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 90% Can’t Do Math

Friday’s newspaper headline blared, “Hamilton County Schools see dramatic growth in student performance” and that, my friend, is “fake news” at its finest. A better try might be, “90 Percent of Kids In Chattanooga Can’t Do Math.” Let’s face it: We know that a full 70 percent of 43,000 students in our public school system are not on track, this based on state test scores, and -- ... (click for more)