Friday, June 24, 2011

Featured Friday: Artist Profile // Michael Garrett Manes

Welcome to another Featured Friday, written by Emily. Today's feature is an artist profile on Michael Manes, an incredibly talented artist and all around funny guy. As a constant admirer of Mike's work, I'm thrilled to showcase his art on this blog. Sometimes it's nice to be able to connect a name with a face, so I hope this picture of Mike gives you an idea of what he's about:

Not a bad looking guy, huh? Okay, okay, here's what he really looks like:

Normally, he wears glasses. Sometimes a hat. Currently an Akron, Ohio resident, Mike studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design where he majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and printmaking. He minored in art history, so make sure to ask him lots of questions to test his knowledge. For the past year, he was the artist-in-residence at Gilmour Academy. He is also currently part of the sales staff at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery At one point, he worked as a security guard at the Akron Art Museum. This means he got to wear a uniform! All of his jobs have involved art, in one way or another. He hopes to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in arts education so that he can continue to educate, inspire, and create.

Mike's work encompasses many mediums and focuses largely on social commentary, which involves political, environmental, religious, and social issues. Through his work, most notably his collages and mixed media creations, he assumes the role of a social commentator. Often, he takes familiar images with existing meanings and strips away the original context in order to construct new meanings. The end result is a tension created from opposing forces at work. Maybe this example will help explain:

Speculations, mixed media

A repeated image of a man with a gun. An American flag. We've all seen these things before, so we come to this work with ideas about these images already implanted in our minds. These ideas work together to shape our understanding of the elements at work here. We are able to understand the new ideas that are conveyed precisely because of our relationship with the appropriated images. To see more work like this, check out his portfolio.

MGM (isn't it cool that his initials are already famous?) also does a lot with recycled books, paper, and mixed media. Here are some of my favorites:


The above piece is on display at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery in Akron, Ohio if you want to see it in person. If you get there before August, maybe you can meet Mike before he moves to North Carolina. You should be reassured that he still plans to display his work in Ohio after he moves.

If you want to check out more of Michael Garrett Manes, you should put his website on the top of your to-do list. In fact, maybe you should do it now.


  1. I'm loving these friday features! mike's work is quite amazing! it's going to be sad to see him go in august but I'm so happy for him!