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Atlanta according to Michi Meko

The visual artist on finding peace on the 'Hooch, sneaking into local swimming pools, and his favorite must-visit arts venues

Photo by Eric Cash
Photo credit: Eric Cash/CL
Michi Meko

Cabbagetown-dwelling artist Michi Meko is one of those creatives who have found both mainstream and independent creative success. Hailed by both the city's lowbrow and highbrow art scenes, Meko's murals can be seen on the streets from Castleberry Hill to Vine City, and he's worked with organizations ranging from Living Walls to the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. When he's not working out of his personal studio, you can probably find him somewhere dedicating his time and passion to fishing.

Three local artists folks from out of town should check out are William Downs, Christopher Hutchinson, and Mike Black.

The Chattahoochee River is where I like to go to think deep thoughts by myself.

Best advice you could give an Atlanta visitor: Lock your car doors; leave nothing visible. Uber is cheaper and quicker than a cab.

My favorite place to go when it's really fucking hot is trying to sneak into the Stacks Lofts swimming pool.

My favorite annual Atlanta event is Chomp and Stomp, and I liked the Critical Mass bike rides.

Congressman John Lewis is my favorite living Atlantan. That brother's seen it all.

My favorite building is the one that looks like tweezers 1180 Peachtree St. N.E.. That one's pretty cool to see. It's like, "Damn, there's a gap in that shit!" There's also Polaris, and the lobby of the Marriott Marquis. I send art students down to look at that.

The Krog Tunnel, High Museum of Art, and Oakland Cemetery are three places every art lover in town should visit.

The one place in Atlanta I would tell visitors to never go is 17th Street and Atlantic Station.

My biggest hope for Atlanta is that we become an international arts city. I hope that we figure out public transit. I hope that we figure out all of the parking situations when you go places.

The weirdest thing about Atlanta is all of the condos going up and the gray areas where certain neighborhoods meet, the dividing areas. This is the home of MLK, but it's still, like, really segregated. That kind of shit is interesting me.