Clark Ashton, GOD Will Smack YOU DOWN, 2015, and Michi Meko, The Antique Blacks,
2016.

COURTESY THE ARTISTS

Artadia, the New York–based nonprofit organization that supports visual artists through various prizes, has named the awardees of its 2017 Atlanta Artadia Awards: Michi Meko and Clark Ashton. Selected from an applicant pool of nearly 150 artists, the two winners will receive $10,000 each and access to the ongoing benefits of the awards program.

Both artists are concerned with object-making and commenting on the idiosyncrasies between the art world and real world. In his recent work, Meko explores the black experience of navigating public spaces, incorporating objects that become metaphors for selfhood and resilience. Ashton makes an inquiry into power structures by creating environments that lead to interaction in the public sphere.

Meko and Ashton were selected by a jury comprised of Anthony Elms, chief curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the artist Adam McEwen; Teresa Bramlette Reeves, the director of curatorial affairs at the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University in Georgia; and Shawnya Harris, curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The other finalists were Masud Ashley Olufani, Charlina Rose-Renaye Smith, and Tori Tinsley. This is the fifth year that Artadia has given awards to artists in Atlanta.