For our new column “5×7,” we pose seven questions to five people who have similar careers, practices, or interests.
For the second installment, we asked artists to describe their work and studio habits, what they have recently been up to, the challenges posed to artists in their cities, and the educators who have influenced them. Our participants for this round include: Michi Meko, an Atlanta-based multidisciplinary artist who just recently had a solo show at Alan Avery Fine Art Company and is included in the High Museum’s exhibition “Sprawl!”; cut-paper artist Lucha Rodriguez, whose solo show “Opposites” is on view at Kai Lin Fine Art through September 11; Nathan Sharratt, who is represented by Baang + Burne in New York City, where he will have a joint show with Dominic Sansone next year, and is in the Studio Artist Program at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; Katie Ridley Murphy, who is also featured in the High’s “Sprawl!” as well as the upcoming “J1” exhibition at ATHICA in Athens; and Tuscaloosa-based artist Pete Schulte, an instructor at the University of Alabama and cofounder, with his fiancée Amy Pleasant, of the Fuel and Lumber Company.
Describe your work in one sentence.
Meko: My work is a hybrid remix of cultures into complex narratives, sprinkled with art history while being drenched in a Hip Hop attitude and bound together by a working mode and practice we called The Patina.
Rodriguez: Organic pinkilicious dreams in hand cut paper. Yumm!
Sharratt: Searching for meaning and connection through mediation. Or: people who need people who make robots that need people who want to be loved.
Murphy: My work is quiet and intricate.
Schulte: I make drawings, objects, and installations that aspire to occupy the thin strata that exists between presence and void, image and object, longing and loss.
What did you do this summer?
Meko: I had and exhibition at Alan Avery Art Company and work in “Sprawl” at the High Museum. I finally was able to go fishing after the exhibitions. I am now searching for exhibition, grant, and residency opportunities to fill my calendar.
Rodriguez: Moved to a new pink studio. Cut lots of paper. Helped paint a mural. Showed work at Beep Beep Gallery, Kai Lin Art, MOCA GA, and the High Museum. And, I’m learning how to play drums!
Sharratt: I did a residency at Vermont Studio Center, saw the new Whitney, worked on a performance video for Dashboard and the Zuckerman Museum about the effort to install a 200,000 sq. ft. inflatable sculpture, designed the catalog for said exhibition, formed an artist-focused digital fabrication and design company with Mike Stasny and Erica Jamison, and started a #artwar with Chicago artist Dominic Sansone.
Murphy: We (my husband, Jason Murphy, and our twins, Jackie and Chloe) did a lot of driving this summer. We visited Toronto and Montreal, where we exhibited our books and zines that we publish through our small press label S T i L L L i F E . We also made it to Florida and Tennessee to visit family. Showing in the “Sprawl” exhibit at the High Museum was a definite highlight. I also began carving a new porcelain collection for TENTHOUSANDTHINGSNYC, thanks to a great friend and artist Jeanine Payer. I am currently preparing for the Monster Drawing Rally at the High Mueseum, “J1” at ATHICA, and an educational Makers Fair in Decatur.
Schulte: I spent a long, glorious summer working and traveling, traveling and working. We left Alabama in late May for the gulf coast of Florida to stare at the sea for a few days before heading to a wonderful residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY, in June. After a few days in Germantown, New York we eventually turned toward the south via New York City for studio visits, galleries, and museums, before heading back to rural Tennessee to spend time with family. We found ourselves back in Bama briefly at the beginning of July, before lighting out to the Midwest – Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee – and back again. By the end of July, I was in Atlanta to install the “Soft Eyes” exhibition that I curated for Whitespace, followed by a trip to Nashville to install my contribution to the 5 Rooms exhibition. Finally, Amy Pleasant and I made our way to Demorest, Georgia to install our exhibition, “Coupling,” at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College.