Exhibit by UA alumna to appear at Bama Theatre

Exhibit+by+UA+alumna+to+appear+at+Bama+Theatre

The exhibit, “Valleys Peak, Faces Reach” by Janet Mego, will be on display from July 31 – August 28 at the Bama Theatre’s Junior League Gallery.  Photo courtesy of Kevin Ledgewood

Sam West

Opening on July 31, the collection of watercolor and acrylic paintings examines race, nature and the human face. “Valleys Peak, Faces Reach” is a body of work that features the skills Mego has honed over a lifetime of making art.

Some people struggle to find what they want to do with their life, but Mego has been passionate about art since a young age. The artist has been creating paintings, drawings and sculptures since the age of six.

“I had a mother who was very into the arts and who encouraged me from a very early age when she saw that there was some imagination there,” she said. “Really, it was wonderful to have that kind of encouragement from a parent.”

At age seven, while in the second grade, Mego won first place in a juried art show in Baltimore. She remembers the achievement hazily, she said, recalling the competition was held around the holidays, and that her drawing involved angels.

Mego’s new exhibit deals in part with race and ethnicity. The collection features four portraits of figures with different skin tones, and explores the way people convey their feelings through facial expressions. Mego illustrates that humans show emotion in the same way, no matter the color of their skin.

“I think race is an ongoing issue in this country, and ethnicity, but it seems to have come out even more recently as a hot topic, and a somewhat volatile one,” Mego said. “I think I am coming to terms with some things through my paintings. I do feel like we need to work on social justice in this country.”

The artist also sought to explore how a person’s background and heritage, the legacy that they embody, is often an important part of their personal identity. Mego said she also wanted to use her paintings to highlight the shallowness of terms such as “black” 
and “white.”

“We each have our own separate color wheel, so to speak,” she said.

“Valleys Peak, Faces Reach” also features landscapes that come from the artist’s involvement with nature. The works are studies of how light reflects and changes on various natural surfaces. Likewise, in her portraiture, Mego wanted to analyze the geography of the face—its peaks, depths and plains, making “Valleys Peak, Faces Reach,” a series of landscapes of both nature and man.

Pam Parker and her family have commissioned several portraits from Mego and been amazed by the 
likenesses she can create.

Describing the process of seeing Mego develop as an artist, Parker said, “It’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed watching her work.”