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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Jim Arendt Shares His Experience as an Artist

Mike+by+Jim+Arendt
Emma Gallus
Mike by Jim Arendt

Excuses concerning time, money and space can harm the work of an artist, suggested an art professor, talking to students at the Visual Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 7.

“Art is never made under ideal conditions,” said Jim Arendt, artist, gallery director and professor at Coastal Carolina University. Arendt received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina after attending the Kendall College of Art and Design. 

His art has been housed in various exhibits across the country, including the Arkansas Art Center and, recently, Marshall’s Charles W. & Norma C. Carroll Gallery.  

Arendt lectured and showcased his work to students and faculty, sharing his experiences and artistic journeys. A recent exhibit entitled, “For Those of Us Still Living,” featured his art to the Huntington community.

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The pieces in the “For Those of Us Still Living” exhibit were made of denim jeans. One of the sculptures included in the lecture, “Pure Lies”, explores the depth behind the Michigan water crisis, a situation that carries great significance to the Flint, Michigan native.

Other pieces discussed at the lecture ranged from portraits to life-sized cardboard figures. Arendt also shared a love for sewing, showing those in attendance a short movie on his Singer sewing machine.

“I like it so much I made a movie about it,” he said. “It essentially can sew through anything.”

In addition to his denim art, Arendt has found a passion in reusing automated road signs across college campuses. Instead of the typical safety message, a sign at the University of North Carolina at Asheville reads, “people like you.”

He calls it a “highway haiku.”

Arendt also highlighted the importance of taking care of your mental health, saying that creating art has helped him manage his own emotional state. 

“It allows me to externalize my demons,” he said. “I can make my demons tangible. I can look at them, and, just like seeing any other monster in a horror movie, it’s not as scary after the jump.”

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