Michi Meko painting



GEORGIA DRY RUB: Michi Meko MAtches the inspiration

In 2017, Michi Meko received a text message from a friend encouraging him to apply to an artist residency called Cabin Time. That year, the residency—which brought together creatives from a variety of fields in different remote locations each year—would be taking place in the eastern Sierra near Lone Pine, CA. Meko knew nothing about Lone Pine, but, he says, “If you’re up in the mountains and you’re on the left coast, you should be flyfishing.” So that’s what he proposed in his application: He’d come to the Sierra, tie flies with found materials (e.g., his dreadlocks, lint from people’s sweaters, other detritus found in or around the river and desert) and try to catch a fish in the nearby Bishop River. The tricky part—he’d never flyfished or tied flies before.

It wasn’t only a fishing trip. For Meko, flyfishing was a vehicle by which to arrive at answers to a larger question: What does it mean to be a Black man in the wilderness? He has said his work focuses on “the contemporary experience of Black life and survival.” These are big questions with universal implications, but they are also distinctly personal for Meko…  

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