The following artists are participating in our installations or lantern events.

Multi-disciplinary artist Tony M. Bingham holds degrees in communications, film and community media from Antioch and Goddard Colleges, and an MFA from Georgia State University. Bingham’s work explores communities and public space—sites of enslaved, extractive, or industrialized labor—throughout Alabama. By making reference to unmarked burial sites and vernacular headstones he calls into question where, how, and who we collectively remember. Bingham currently teaches at Miles College.

Boo Gilder is an Alabama-based artist and educator with a focus on community-engaged making and creative collaboration. She holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago in book and paper arts, as well as training in photography and graphic design. Formally Curator of Education at the Coleman Center for the Arts, a community-based contemporary art center in York, AL, she is currently Art Director at Studio By The Tracks in Birmingham, where she works with artists with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Jamey Grimes teaches courses in sculpture and museum studies at the University of Alabama. As a sculptor, Grimes explores the sometimes overwhelming and awe-inspiring relationship between viewer and nature in his larger-than-life sculptures, which often show the influence of his interest in biology. Grimes has shown his artwork widely throughout the US; most recently, his sculpture Taraxacum was installed in the John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. An avid kayaker and outdoorsman, he has had a long-time affinity for Tuscaloosa’s waterways. 

Multidisciplinary artist Michi Meko (b. 1974, Florence, Alabama) draws influence from Southern culture and contemporary urban conditions. He has an uncanny ability to inspire an urbanized aesthetic that is innovative, challenging and thoughtful. The works allude to conditions both physical and psychological. His work is a proclamation of strength, perseverance and remembrance. He is represented by Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta. Michi Meko lives and works in Atlanta.

Kelly Taylor Mitchell (she/her, b. 1994) is an artist and educator who lives and works in Atlanta, GA where she is currently an Artist-in-Residence with the Studio Artist Program at The Atlanta Contemporary and a Working Artist Project Fellow with The Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia. Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture and the Art Program Director at Spelman College. Kelly’s multidisciplinary practice centers oral history and ancestral memory woven into the fabric of the Africana Diaspora, in order to present speculative histories, specifically related to concepts of community autonomy, swamp marronage, and inherited identity. Utilizing printmaking, papermaking, sculpture, and textiles her work manifests as immersive installations, performative objects, and partnered artists books offering a venue for the sensorial to connect to, convey, and reimagine rituals and rites of autonomous kin, collectives, and individuals of the Africana Diaspora.

Hannah S. Palmer works as an urban designer in Atlanta. She writes about the intersection of southern stories and urban landscapes for venues like CNN, Art Papers, Atlanta Magazine, ATL Studies, and for urban design and planning projects around the world. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. She lives near the Atlanta Airport with her husband and sons. Flight Path is her first book.

Celeste Amparo Pfau is an artist in the truest sense of the word, giving life to her ideas, and creating across mediums. Like a house that has many rooms, each art practice has an equally important purpose and function that nourishes and catalyzes the others.

Natural Spaces, whether wild or planted, are her muse and source of materials. There, Celeste gathers flowers, foliage, seeds and roots to use in a unique process. Her botanical monoprints involve the careful arrangement of ethically harvested plant matter and oil based inks. Each print, visual or wearable, is created on a manually operated etching press. Along with her fine art prints, Celeste also creates one-of-a-kind botanical sculptures and collaborates on site specific installations. 

Celeste believes in the communal approach to art making. She hopes that her work can be a bridge to connect people to the natural world and to each other. Celeste Pfau shows locally and internationally. For more information, please visit

John Wathen is the Hurricane Creekkeeper and founder of Friends of Hurricane Creek in Tuscaloosa. An Alabama native who grew up on the Black Warrior River and served in the United States Navy, John is no stranger to water. John’s first endeavor in the river world was the formation of the Stroker’s Paddle Club in 1992. After being exposed to toxic chemical poisoning in his industrial day job, John quickly moved to become an environmentalist. In 1997, he helped found the Friends of Hurricane Creek. The organization became an official part of the Waterkeeper Alliance in 2005 and John was named the Hurricane Creekkeeper. He has been a strong watchdog, educator, and activist for Hurricane Creek, as well as many other important environmental causes. In 2011, he was named one of three International Water Heroes by the Waterkeeper Alliance.

John’s work goes well beyond the work of a typical river advocate. He has made a name for himself in Alabama and in the Southeast as a first responder to environmental disasters.

See John Wathen’s photographs of Tuscaloosa waterways in our gallery.