|MC Photo by Jeff McDonald|
By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events
On Thursday, February 23, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., the public is invited to the closing reception for the art exhibit currently hanging in the Allison Fine Arts Building McCormick Gallery on the main Midland College (MC) campus, 3600 N. Garfield.
Mr. Arendt’s unique work is primarily composed of cut denim combined with other material and is a collection of narrative figure painting, drawing, prints, fabric and sculpture. He describes his work as being influenced “by the radical reshaping of the rural and industrial landscapes in which he was raised.”
In his artist statement, Arendt writes, “Art making is a way for me to explore our changing relationship with labor. My research focuses on transitions in macroeconomic structures through the lens of their effects on individual lives, communities and worker’s relationships to the structures of labor itself.
“I’ve paid witness to the demise of opportunities to engage in meaningful work and seen cities ravaged by the absence of industry. As the landscape of work and labor continue to shift around us, I use art making as a way to investigate how the division of labor and alienation from work has impacted individual lives. My early engagement with work that was whole and undivided has left me with a persistent feeling that our present economic configuration has alienated most of us from the finest use of our skills.”
Arendt’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous group and solo shows. Recently Arendt was short-listed for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art and received the South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Artist Fellowship. His work was awarded the $50,000 top prize at Artfields, Best in Show at Hub-Bub Gallery’s Emerging Carolina and was included in the 701 Contemporary Center for the Arts 701 CCA Prize 2012. He was also awarded Best in Show during Fantastic Fibers at Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY, and his work was included in Fiberarts International 2013 and 2016 and the 2013 Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennial, Netherlands.
The exhibit has been on display in McCormick Gallery since January 17; it is scheduled to close on Friday, February 24.