The recipients of the 2017 Atlanta Artadia Awards have been announced. The selected artists areClark Ashton and Michi Meko, who were chosen from the list of five finalists.
Awardees will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds and are invited to participate in Artadia’s ongoing beneficiary program, which connects them to a network of curators and collectors across the country. This is Artadia’s fifth time presenting curator-driven, unrestricted awards to Atlanta artists.
The 2017 Atlanta Artadia Awards were open to all visual artists living in the greater Atlanta area for over two years, working in any media and at any stage of their career. The award recipients were selected through Artadia’s two-tier jury review process. Artadia is a national nonprofit organization that supports artists with unrestricted, merit-based awards followed by a lifetime of program opportunities.
In other news, Meko was also recently awarded a Painters and Sculptors Grant of $25,000 from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. As part of the annual grant process, nominators from across the country are invited to recommend artists, and in an anonymous process, a jury panel then selects 25 awardees.
At his Mechanical Riverfront Kingdom on Druid Hill, Clark Ashton confronts life’s inherent cruelty and unfairness by asserting truth and establishing history with an assuming permanence that challenges existing power structures. He engages issues both urgent and timeless with a keen sense of craft and a vision driven by independent thought. He constructs cosmologies and interacts with the public in an environment removed from the setting of sponsored spaces where power and politics censor expression and control agendas in insidious ways.
In 2015, Michi Meko almost drowned. Inviting this life-changing event’s influence into his studio practice, recent works focus on the Black experience of navigating public spaces while remaining buoyant within them. African Americans in public space are consistently threatened, visibly and openly with the evidence sharing offered by social media. Barrages of images simulate an experience of drowning.
The work incorporates the visual language of naval flags and nautical way findings and romanticized objects of the American South to communicate the psychological and the physical. Beyond the physical image of the body, objects become metaphors for self-hood and resilience.