Michi Meko, evolved from a middle-class family that questioned everything and took nothing for granted. Meko was raised in Florence, AL. His father, Sam Pendleton, was a City Councilman, championing his community. Pendleton and his wife Deloris Ann taught Michi and his brother, Actor, Cedric Pendleton, to give back.
Meko now resides and works in Atlanta, GA, but he came back to Florence to conduct a summer workshop in his home community. Meko and Cedric both “looked at where they were in their careers, and wanted to come home to give back to the community.” Named after their aunt, Annie Blackburn, the workshop enabled aspiring young artists to have hands-on experience. They culminated their work with a stage production and an art exhibit.
Meko continues to be a mentor for Atlanta high school kids. He mentored in a one-of-a-kind program called Art at Work, which was a job-training program through the arts. “Some of my students have gone on to Howard University to film school. One student received a Bill and Melinda Gates grant,” says Meko. “All this started with the motivation, ‘You can make a career with art.’ In a few months, I’m going to have students work with me on a big project.”
Meko’s many projects include work for the city. “Atlanta is known as an international stop for street artists to come thru and put up murals,” says Meko. “One of the programs is Living Walls, and the other program is Forward Warrior. Both projects get artists involved in large scale murals.” When asked if he facilitates the projects, Meko replied, “No, I am truly an artist. Between the mentoring and my career there’s not a lot of time.” Meko appreciates his beginnings, and his artwork is a reflection of his past and current surroundings.
As a multidisciplinary artist, Meko paints, sculpts, photographs, films, and writes. He is expandable. “I am trying my best not to have limits,” Meko indicates. “If there are limits, I want them to be purposeful.” Meko subscribes to the theory of Permaculture, which is “building intricate life systems that all exist in a (synchronistic way); a way of life, living…looking at nature to solve human problems.” Meko now bases his studio practice around this theory, “this one message.”
“As a Multidisciplinary artist, my work draws influence from rural southern culture and contemporary urban subcultures. I have developed a system of gathering that allows hybridizing and remixing the content into a multilingual dialect that endows ordinary and rejected objects with historic and spiritual powers.”
“By reworking and mashing up iconography the works begin to
establish a new identity alluding to conditions both physical and psychological in proclamation of
perseverance and remembrance.”
“Passion, as it relates to my studio work, is this pure obsession of being in the process; this pure obsession of being in this creative moment; having these materials respond the way you want them to, (and they never do,)” When questioned about achieving satisfaction, as an artist. Meko responded, “At that point, you would be God.” http://www.michimeko.com/
Originally from Chicago, Vicki Goldston, (Victorine), now calls the Shoals area home. She has three children, (including a son-in-love), and 3 grand children, all who add texture to the fabric of her life. Teaching Conscious Living through God Within You, Vicki is the Pastor Emeritus of Living Spirit Church, an Independent, New Thought ministry, in Florence, AL. Minister Vicki is an Inspirational Speaker; a Contributing Author of a Chicken Soup book, The Miracle of Tithing, by Mark Victor Hansen; and the author of her own book, Be S.A.F.E. (Still, Aware, Faithful, and Excellent). She is the President of Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC. and the founder of Garden Spices Magazine. She facilitates her workshop, Abundance Therapy, and is the Founder/Facilitator of Revelations: A Ministry. She is also a member of the African Dance Troupe, POZA.
Michi was one of my students in English comp, when I came to UNA in 1993/1994. I love his work!