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Mike “Congo” Congleton uses the batik medium to capture beautiful landscapes around Western North Carolina. Batik is an ancient technique used for decorating textiles, by which parts of the textile that are not to be colored are covered in molten wax. The wax prevents the textile from absorbing the dye during the decorating process.
Congo studied batik under Nigerian artist Olabayo Olaniyi and also his friend Doreen Walsh. He says, “The batik process is challenging because of the permanence of working with wax and layers of dye, but the resulting vibrancy of color is rewarding.”
Many of Congo’s paintings are reminiscent of the years he spent teaching and sailing in the Caribbean. Though his color palette has changed since moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, he continues a personal quest to capture the spirit and light in nature.
As a middle school art teacher at Carolina Day School, Congo also works with ceramics, photography, silkscreen, and filmmaking. He earned a BFA from the University of Massachusetts and has studied oil painting with Eric Winter in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Congo shares his mountain home with his wife, two children, Roxy (The Terror) and Bandit the Dog.
HOURS: Grovewood Gallery is open Mon - Sun from 10am - 5pm. Our two museums are open Wed - Sun from 10am - 5pm. Dismiss