By Alicia Stemper/Vitamin O
Karen and Greg Mack’s interest in folk art began with well-known folk artist Reverend Howard Finster who designed album covers for R.E.M. and the Talking Heads. One artist led to another. The Macks now represent artists through their virtual art gallery, Mike’s Art Truck, which they began in Atlanta. “It became beyond collecting the art. It became collecting the artists.” Outsiders try to give the art labels. The Macks avoid such debates, searching for art that comes from an internal drive.
The Macks’ mission is to return as much revenue as possible to the artists. “All the art we have, all that we sell, we have a personal connection.” Karen says, “The artists are our family – they just don’t know it yet.” Friend and artist Eric Legge, whose work hangs in their foyer, once said, “I’ve never made art to make money. I’ve always made money so I could make art.” The Macks are similar – they don’t collect and sell to make money. They collect and sell to support artists.
The Macks moved here in 2012 and enjoy Hillsborough’s strong sense of community. Fittingly, they love the annual Handmade Parade, a celebration of label-defying creativity.