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The Sugar Hill Arts Commission invites you to meet Margo Perkins, the artist behind Sugar Hill’s next mural on Tuesday, March 26 at 5 p.m. The event will start with a presentation in the Community Room, followed by a guided walk to her mural. To learn more about the artist, visit her website.

Artist Statement:

Margo Perkins’ work explores the nostalgic, freely associative qualities of childhood memories through spontaneity and playfulness to process feelings from the past. Moving quickly and curiously, she manipulates her materials in the moment while working with their unique characteristics through oil, acrylic, latex, and watercolor mediums. She creates texture by applying dynamic brushstrokes, sometimes incorporating found objects, threads, and fabrics in her pieces. The tangibility of Perkins methods allows her to be more attuned to physically processing these memories through intuitive movements. Building in layers and patterns, her paintings evolve from cathartic gestures into a spirited expression of the world around her.

Perkins paints in a variety of sizes from murals to large-scale oil canvases and small acrylic paintings. In her mural work, the environment, wall, or space she is in, shapes and guides her visual ideas. While her painting process is spontaneous, Perkins approaches her murals methodically, designing mockups and mapping out the pieces in consideration of time restraints. Painting in playful, soft colors, her imagery is bold and lively, using latex and spray paint to create depth and texture to her subject matter. Whether Perkins is painting murals or on canvas, creating art is an emotional release through the movement of paint and the experimentation of material, reflecting her thought process visualized in expressionistic visions.

Outside of Perkins painting practice, she creates abstract sculptures using synthetic and natural materials such as concrete, wood, metal, and clay. Similarly, to her painting style, she follows an intuitive method, slowed down by the weight and drying time of the concrete material. She layers her sculptures through color, shapes, repetition and linework, clustering objects and natural markings into her work. Influenced by the intersections between the natural and the modern, urban landscape, her pieces resemble objects found in nature while mirroring the vertical formations of city structures. She examines the symbiotic relationship between human’s co-dependency on the unnatural world and the inevitable need to be connected to nature. In creating these sculptures, Perkins mimics the role of an architect, intertwining these observations into a representation of a changing world at the hands of humanity.

Artist Bio:

Margo Perkins is a Southern Appalachian, Atlanta-based multidisciplinary artist known
for her process-orientated, mixed media practice in painting, mural, and sculpture work. Born into a family of farmers and seamstresses, she grew up on a farm in East Tennessee. Surrounded by a community of artisans, her grandmother and mother taught her to quilt, sew and cross-stitch which encouraged her to develop her interest in experimenting with various mediums. She received her BFA in Drawing from the University of Tennessee and later graduated in Digital Media Design at East Tennessee State University.

Today, Perkins creates expressionistic, abstract paintings and sculptures exploring an intuitive, movement-based approach as a method to release ruminating pent-up thoughts and emotions.

She is an award-winning artist who is active in the Atlanta arts community. She has shown her work at Mint Gallery and the Bakery and received grants to completed public art projects, and has led public art workshops. Perkins won a Virtual Arts Initiative Grant from the Fulton County Arts & Culture Department in 2020. In 2021 she was a featured participating mural artist in collaboration with Invest Atlanta Public Art. She also completed large-scale murals for the 44 Murals Project, Dunkin Donuts, and other community organizations. In 2022, Perkins was awarded the Laura Patricia Calle grant, as she produced her 3,800 SQFT mural “Please Stay” with Living Walls nonprofit. In 2023 the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office added her work to the city’s permanent art collection.

Over the past 15 years, Perkins worked on public art projects with the City of Atlanta, Fulton County Arts Commission, Living Walls the City Speaks, Invest Atlanta, Johnson City Area Arts Council, University of Tennessee, Reese Museum, The Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture, Emory School of Medicine, The Tennessee Arts Commission, and more.

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