Mikee Huber is a Department of Defense contract worker with an eye for art.
Over the years, Mikee has become a fixture in the Dayton art scene.
We caught up with our latest Daytonian of the Week.
Is your birth name Michael? How did you get the name?
My birth name is pronounced Michelle and my dad spelled it like Michael. My name is NOT Michael, it’s just spelled that way. My family and doctors calls me Michelle, friends and everyone else calls me Mikee. My dad really liked the actress Michael Learned, who is most known for playing John-Boy’s mother on “The Waltons,” and later for the Wesson Cooking Oil commercials.
My dad picked my sister’s name, Consuela, from another TV show.
What do you do?
By day, I work for Sabel Systems, a Department of Defense contractor at Wright-Patterson AFB. I provide visual communications (graphics) support and have worked in this line of work for over 23 years, for different employers at WPAFB.
What is your alter ego?
By night I am a visual artist with many artistic outlets. My creative obsession for the past four years has been oil based mix media paintings I create with my hands and non-traditional tools such as tongue depressors, eye droppers, and tooth picks. I do not use a paint brush. I am excited about the new location for my studio at 903 N. Keowee, below The Dayton Printmakers Cooperative. It is much larger than my previous space, has high ceilings, large windows and is on the ground floor. Everyone is invited.
How do you describe Dayton to people who have never been here?
Dayton is large enough for anyone to get involved in the community, yet small enough to feel like your support matters. Dayton is still small enough to run into people you know, and I love how my different circles of friends intersect at times that even surprise me. It's rare that we go somewhere and don't see someone we know.
What do you love about life in Dayton?
There is always something to do, and we don’t have time to go to everything we would like to attend. The festivals and events are great; something for everyone to enjoy. The people of Dayton are great! I’ve met many people through volunteering, young professional groups, festivals and other outings. Midwesterners are friendly, welcoming people, and the people of Dayton reaffirms that.
What would you do on a perfect date in Dayton?
Hmmm, it's hard to pick just one perfect date. We love going to dinner downtown and watching a performance at the Schuster Center, especially when we know one of our friends are performing. Another option for our perfect date would be hiking and then getting wine afterwards. We met through a local hiking club, so hiking will always be special to us. We even completed the TVT Challenge twice together during the annual event, 31.4 miles one year and 27.5 the next year.
What would you change about Dayton?
I would love to change the sometimes negative perception many in the suburbs have about downtown. I've walked friends around downtown giving them a “tour,” showing them so many cool places such as The Neon, the great restaurants, Riverscape, and many historical places, and I feel it changed some perceptions. Getting out and walking around a city is a great way to learn where more places are versus driving and only seeing a few of the places.
What should people know about Dayton?
Our MetroParks and arts scene are fabulous. We are a community of innovators, creatives and doers with a historical legacy that inspires us today and into the future. Dayton is going through a resurrection with all the new buildings, businesses, public art, etc. I tell my friends they need to see all of the changes taking place downtown.
What are your hopes for the arts community in Dayton?
Dayton has a great arts community, with something for everyone to enjoy that only continues to grow. I hope even more people come to Dayton to experience the Dayton arts scene. People can choose from a variety of events at Yellow Cab; boutique galleries such as the Edward A. Dixon Gallery and Gallery 510; special exhibits at the Dayton Visual Arts Center and Dayton Society of Artists; artist communities such as the Front Street Building Company and the new Market at the Park, formerly Crane Studios Market; plays at community theaters; large scale performances through the Victoria Theatre Association; the Dayton Art Institute; performances at local bars and the new Levitt Pavilion to name only a few. I’m excited for the new location of my art studio, 903 N. Keowee, located below the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative.
What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
I hope the growth and positive changes taking place downtown spread into the surrounding neighborhoods. Downtown is going through a building and redevelopment boom, I would love to see some of that energy spread out of the central business district and into the neighborhoods.