Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces)

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) : TC + Michael Mucker 

February 4 – 25, 2023 | Opening Reception Saturday, February 4 6-9pm

TC, Friday, collage, 32” x 40”, 2021

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) creates space for dialogue between two Southern artists working at the intersection of fine art and human scale design. 

TC says, “I go back in time to the present, when many black people have returned to the South from the North after realizing that they receive the same treatment everywhere. As we take in our surroundings, we realize that perhaps it is time to examine our own communities and address some of the issues that exist there. Community is where it all begins.”

Communities have a story of their existence. Some stories have been lost in travel, while others were taken away through atrocities of suffrage. Generations of history have been passed through the story telling of the griot, the oral historian. These stories illustrate the greatness of human resilience, our will to thrive through the suffering towards our greatness. Through these stories and historical documentation, we pick up those lost pieces until our story is complete.” 

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) is a response to the Tennessee Triennial prompt of Re/Pair, drawing inspiration from Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, a body of work that centers on the Great Migration, during which around six million Black Americans moved from the American South to the Northern, Midwestern, and Western states between the 1910s and the 1970s. 

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Tennessee Triennial. The artists will be present at the opening reception on Saturday, February 4 from 6-9pm. 

More on the artists: 

Ol Skool Mike

Michael “Ol Skool” Mucker (he/him/his) knew from an early age that he wanted to create. Growing up during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, graffiti provided an outlet for creative freedom. At age 17, Ol Skool leveraged his prowess with a spray can to begin making work in airbrush. Completely self-taught, Ol Skool continued honing his craft and eventually founded several airbrush shops. 

After completing an overseas tour of duty, Ol Skool relocated from Kentucky to Tennessee in 1995 and continued to diversify his experience in mediums including graphic design, animation, automotive painting, murals, works on canvas, and, most recently, tattooing. Ol Skool’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, and cultural centers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Most days, Ol Skool can be found in his studio or at One Drop Ink Tattoo Studio and Gallery.


Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, TC (they/them/theirs)  has valued and created art since childhood, using collage to explore their experiences as a black, queer adolescent in the South. TC says, “You don’t really see or hear about people having dreams where I’m from. Many people just simply forget about their dreams because they have families to support. Growing up, I knew that I was different. I didn’t know what different meant at the time, but I was aware that I didn’t want to mirror the people around me.” 

An innovator, fashion designer, artist, and lifelong learner, TC works to create space for all kinds of people. TC’s garments and collages are modes that illustrate the typical lives of African Americans in the South, giving equal attention to both the highs and lows.

More on COOP:
COOP is a curatorial collective made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging new or under-represented artists/artworks to our community. COOP is committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content, with a goal to provide an alternative venue for artists free from the constraints of the retail market. COOP seeks to initiate a discourse between Nashville and art scenes across the country by inviting artists to show, develop projects and interact with the Nashville community.

For questions contact: Sara Lederach & Jay Sanchez,,