Mr. Mesologites (Mr M.)
1935 - 2009
Art Teacher and Chairman
George A. Mesologites, or Mr. "M" as he was known by many, died on February 15, 2009 at the age of 74 after a 10-year battle with cancer. Mr. M, a 40-year Merrick resident, taught fine arts for 38 years at Mepham until his retirement in 1995.
Mr. Mesologites began his art career at 16 when the noted neoclassic sculptor, Wheeler Williams, selected Mr. M. out of a class at the School of Industrial Arts (now called School of Industrial Arts and Design) to be his apprentice.
He worked under Mr. Williams' tutelage for eight years before earning a Master's degree in education at New York University.
Mr. M. loved teaching and he loved Mepham, as he said in an interview in this newspaper on November 5, 1997: "It was the best part of my life. I was able to build a department, work with great people and the kids are inspirational."
Mr. M. was a recipient of the 1987 New York State Art Educator of the Year award. He was a founder of the National Drawing Association and a charter member of the Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts. His drawings and sculptures are in many collections, including those at Molloy College, Hofstra University, Nassau Community College, New York University and the Gottesman collection.
Mr. M's life-size sculpture "Personal Armor" is on permanent display at the Bellmore Memorial Library.
The last exhibition of George A. Mesologites was at the Heckscher Museum of Art at Bryant Library in Roslyn in 1999-2000. An exhibit celebrating his art is being planned for later this year.
Merrick Life, March 1, 2009
New York Times, Sunday, January 9, 2000
Art Reviews: Bryant Library, Roslyn
George Mesologites explores the role of angels as surrogates for spiritual messages in the large group of drawings that dominate this exhibition of his sculpture and works on paper. While the imagery seems to belong to an earlier era, Mr. Mesologites believes it can be a valid way of commenting on morality and human values.
Most of the figures are shown in active, dramatic poses and convey emotions that seem linked to legend. The most noteworthy examples strive for a psychological grip through facial expression and gesture. Many crowd their format, giving the appearance of forcefulness. With their elongated adult bodies, exaggerated muscles and heavy, densely feathered wings, the figures recall both 16th-century Mannerism and actors in a morality play.
Another tradition obvious here is the emphasis on encouraging materials to reinforce the intended sentiment. Gold leaf is a link to the importance of angels in Byzantine and early Renaissance art; oil washes introduce shimmering tones, and scratchy graphite markings define both muscularity and delicate detail.
In the Mesologites sculpture, the faceted surface of a bronze and copper Icarus figure projects an agitation that is close to the spirit of the drawings. The roughened surface and haunting expression of the timeless face in ''Aklafto (For the Things Uncried For)'' makes this one of the show's particularly notable three-dimensional pieces.
31 Jul 2003
Mr. M was my was my advertising teacher back in 73-76. Taught me alot and now I own two advertising agencys. I last saw him back in 79 at Pearl Paint. I would love to see him again and wish him my best.
Glenn Ostrow '76
Comments from Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70544552613
April 16, 2009
I was a student of Mr "M", back in the 60's; and I never forgot him. In fact, he was such an inspiration to me, that I went on from Mepham to college, and became an Art teacher. I taught Jr High School kids in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
Mr M was a wonderful teacher...and he was a remarkable human being.
I feel sad now, that I didn't reach out to him after I started teaching Art. I'm sure it would have put a smile on his face to know what an incredible influence he was to me. But somehow, I know, that he was well aware of how influential he really was...by the reaction of his students. Everyone of us loved him.
Lorri Krenis Scott '63
May 23rd, 2009
I am absolutely for this cause! No one else deserves it more! Mr. M changed my life and guided me toward the right direction - a career in the creative world, which led me to be a fashion and interior designer.
Christine Tabora-Stotereau '88
May 23rd, 2009
I lived in the choir side of the building but even I know what an amazing person he was and how he influenced people's lives. Going to pass the info to my cousin Beth Brust so she can join.
Dori-Ann Post-Keisner '88
May 25th, 2009
Ahhh, Mr M....happy memories of learning about viewing the world and critical thinking. We were lucky to have him.
Susan Jainchill '88
May 28th, 2009
I had no idea either! I wouldn't have gone to college if it weren't for him. He changed my life completely! They should definately name it after him.
Denise Kelly Syrlik '91
May 29th, 2009
Can't believe he's gone. I didn't know till now. I went to SVA because of him. :-) Anyone know how the art dept is doing nowdays?
Jeanette Lowe Hafke '88
June 1st, 2009
I can't believe it, I'm so saddened to hear this about M. The wind is knocked out of me.
Tara Sugar-Vixen '93
June 3rd, 2009
I miss that man. He taught me so much about life...even how to get into the MET for a dollar! ( I think I took that picture of him) He WAS the Art Department of Mepham HS. He brought the classes to the basement, he pushed and pushed for more money, he gave kids like me a reason to go to school. He kept us close but also would let us go. He was one of the first adults that trusted me. He trusted my art and my vision...man I miss him and I feel bad for the future students who won't have him. They really shouldn't have to think about naming it after him. It should have already been done! Sorry for the ramble...
Elizabeth Moore '94
June 10th, 2009
My best times in High School were in the Art Rooms with Mr. M. It's hard to beleive that I've been out of HS for almost 40 years, but those experiences are still with me. Mepham Art IS Mr. M!
Peggy Danz Kazdan '70