Jim Arendt, winner of the $50,000 prize in Lake City’s ArtFields, isn’t from Columbia, but he lived here for nine years before moving to Conway.
Arendt’s Jamie, a life-size image of a person lying on a couch made entirely of cut-up blue jeans, was picked by a combination of popular vote and jury selection.
“It’s an interesting problem to design work that is both appealing to an audience in general and art professionals. They are often drawn to competing criteria,” says Arendt. “I consciously attempt to design my work in such a way that it will thread that narrow path between logic and emotion. I like my work to appeal to both worlds, and work hard to make it so.”
Arendt, who grew up in Michigan, moved to Columbia to pursue a master of fine art degree at the University of South Carolina. David Voros, an assistant professor at USC, was a visiting artist at Kendall College of Art and Design where Arendt was studying and encouraged him to apply. After earning his degree in painting in 2005, he taught at the university and ran the S.C. State art gallery in Orangeburg for three years before becoming director of the Coastal Carolina University art gallery in late 2011. He is married to artist Yvette Cummings; they have two daughters.
The denim pieces are related to Arendt’s experience watching his father mend jeans tattered by farm work and welding and his desire to make art of material that reflects its content.
“I’m a sincerity junkie,” Arendt said in an interview with Free Times last year. “Oil paint is great for gods and kings, but for the people I wanted to depict, this material is truer to their experience.”
Arendt was included in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art Prize exhibition last year and his art was part of the first South Carolina Biennial exhibition at 701 CCA in 2011. Recently he showed in the Fiberart International at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Rijswijk Textile Biennial in the Netherlands. He has a solo exhibition opening May 16 at the Sumter Gallery of Art.
“The prize will allow me to do that with some financial breathing room,” says Arendt. “I'd like to start a small fund for visual art students at S.C. State to provide future artists with promising work the same type of encouragement I have had.”
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
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Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: