Music in the Street

Internationally Recognized Commercial and Fine Artist to Exhibit in Spartanburg

College-level art teacher, freelance illustrator, and poster designer Mike Massengale of Greenville, SC will exhibit a collection of mixed media-on-canvas-and-paper artwork at West Main Artists Co-op (WMAC) Aug. 7-24 based on the theme “Music in the Street.”

This extremely colorful, contemporary, and impressionistic collection of about 20 works of art that mostly depict musicians playing in casual and energetic environments will be open for free public viewing Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The exhibit’s reception will be on Thursday, Aug. 16, 5-9 p.m.

Massengale is best known for his “liquid vibrations” style that is characterized by vibrant overlapping colors and images that create an illusion of flowing movement. The high contrast between black and white spaces intensify the bold colors that sometimes run outside of the subject matter and connect with other compositional elements, which can be several, few, or even just one, producing an overall effect of the work having high density composition with highly saturated color. The overall mood of the works is often a joyous celebration of music.

“Many things inspire me, but music is the primary motivation for all of my work,” Massengale said. “We all have a song that somehow imprinted itself on our lives. It might take us to another place, time, or even bring back a memory. Close your eyes and listen. Then notice the soft and subtle motions of your hands and feet. Feel the beat in your chest. It creates vibrations that run through your body. It caresses your soul. It flutters in your ears. Watching and listening to musicians perform creates a physical and emotional reaction. It touches me in a positive way. It moves me. That is what I draw and paint.”

His personal motto is, “What he does not have in talent, skill and knowledge he makes up for with diligence.”

“We are thrilled to have Mike exhibiting here at West Main Artists Co-op in August,” WMAC’s Venue Curator Dwight Rose said. “Mike is one of the most worldly artists that I know. He has done so many exciting and high-profile projects for both big and small companies, festivals, products, you name it, he’s probably done it. He is highly respected for this ability to produce commercially successful artwork, as well as his fine art work. And, he’s also a wonderful teacher. I think the Spartanburg community will find his work surprising in its quality and scope. He is a world-class artist.”

Massengale is currently a professor of the Digital Media and Drawing at Converse College in Spartanburg. He holds several academic degrees in art and design from Anderson Junior College, Appalachian State University, Syracuse University, and University of Hartford. In addition, he has illustrated and designed for some of the most well-known companies in the world. In 1988 he designed and illustrated some of the first interactive (pre-Internet) projects for AT&T, which were displayed at Epcot's, World Key theme park. Since then, he has created and executed hundreds of visual projects for small companies, as well as, fortune 500 companies. Other notable clients include Universal Studios Theme Park, Disney Theme Park, Sara Lee, Converse Footwear, Avia Footwear, and the 1998 Olympics. These visual projects range from interactive to video to print. One of his other accomplishments was to be selected as the official artist for the NFL Players Association for Super Bowl 39 in 2005. His work has been featured in Computer Graphics World, Computer Pictures, and Art World News.

“As a fine artist, I have had the pleasure over the years of being part of more than 25 solo and group shows,” he said. “I have been the official artist of the Rehoboth Beach Delaware Jazz Festival for 12 years. During the past 30 plus years, I have also worked in commercial art in a number of capacities including graphic artist, illustrator, animator, art director, and creative director. I now teach drawing and digital media, including graphic design, illustration, animation and interactive media at Converse College as a Professor of Professional Practice.”

Some of this many projects have included work on T-shirts, posters, and ads. In addition to music, other subjects in his work include sports, the tropics, and landscapes. All of the original work (not prints) in the “Music in the Street” will be for sale, ranging in price $189 to $649.

Born and reared in South Carolina, Massengale, 56, has been married to Stacey Massengale for 32 years. They live in the Simpsonville area of Greater Greenville. They have 23-year-old twins: one is graduate of College of Charleston; the other a graduate of The Citadel.

For more information about “Music in the Street,” Massengale, or West Main Artists Co-op, please visit online: WestMainArtists.org.