The University of North Georgia (UNG), in celebration of Black History Month, will host an exhibit of artwork by Michi Meko titled "Circle of Rivers," from Feb. 11 to March 11 and "Hip-Hop as a Healing Practice" symposium on Feb. 27 on the Dahlonega Campus.
"Meko creates work that invokes personal histories while exploring Southern culture and contemporary urban and sub-cultures. We are thrilled that an Atlanta artist of growing renown will share his work with our university community," said Beth Sale, director of UNG's art galleries. "Personal expression, through art, poetry or music is a way of processing life experience and expressing it in a positive way."
The "Circle of Rivers" exhibition opens with an artist's reception on Feb. 11 from 5-6 p.m. at the Hoag Student Center. Meko will be the featured guest at the reception and will return to the Dahlonega Campus on Feb. 27 to serve as the keynote speaker for the day-long symposium on "Hip-Hop as a Healing Practice."
Meko's work includes pieces such as "The Kit," "The Loner," "Unsophisticated Splashing," "The View from Ships," and "The Enlightenment of Gold Naps" and have been exhibited in Los Angeles, Miami, Brooklyn, New York, and much of the greater Atlanta area.
The "Hip-Hop as a Healing Practice: Art, Music + Culture" Symposium will involve collaboration from the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) and UNG Art Galleries.
Scheduled for Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hoag Student Center Auditorium, the event will also feature Dr. Sean Callahan, professor of psychology at Georgia Highlands College, Dr. Eric Bridges, professor of psychology at Clayton State University, Yen Rodriguez, leadership coordinator and professor of interdisciplinary studies at Kennesaw State University, artist and author Life the Griot, and D.J. Cka'as.
"Through the symposium we seek to explore and capitalize on the ways students from culturally, ethnically and socio-economically diverse backgrounds engage hip-hop, art, music and culture. By focusing on how students engage these aspects in relation to hip-hop, we can gain a better understanding of how hip-hop is used to support their efforts to sustain personal well-being while in pursuit of educational goals, in particular, as well as promote issues of social justice, in general," said Alexis Carter, MSA assistant director.
Carter and Sale were awarded a UNG Presidential Innovation Award to support these programs.
UNG Presidential Innovation Awards provide up to $5,000 each for full-time faculty and staff members for interdisciplinary and/or cross functional collaborations among colleagues or individual pursuits focused on innovations and partnerships to promote implementation of best practice models.
MSA offers a variety of services, including: presentations about diversity, identity development, race, gender, and multicultural issues; one-on-one student advisement on academic and personal issues; leadership development; assisting faculty and staff with diversity concerns within their departments; and cultural awareness activities.