Professor’s Works Displayed in London

Siloam Springs, Ark. (September 26, 2005) — John Brown University’s Joel Armstrong, assistant professor of art and design, will display one of his wire-based installation art pieces in London, England at an international graphic design conference.

The conference, “Temporary Type,” will take place Oct. 10-12 at St. Brides Institute. Armstrong’s exhibition title, “It’s Time to Address’er Drawers” comes from an experience he had after his mother’s death when he discovered many years worth of sealed and unaddressed letters she had written and stored in her dresser drawer. Several of the letters document his parent’s dysfunctional relationship.

Armstrong’s exhibit will include a dresser, lamp, carpet and an overturned recliner. Each of the drawers is lit from within and contains the text of one of his mother’s letters. The text is formed by bending wire into cursive words.

Installation art is unique because audiences have the chance to interact with the artwork. The artwork can include sound, smell and touch.

The audience is encouraged to take the wire words out of the drawers and try to recreate his mother’s letters, or create new and more personal statements, by pinning them on the wall. In the background, the audience will hear his mother’s letter read in constant repetition.

Armstrong takes pleasure that audiences can delve into their own personal experiences as a result of his artwork.

“I am fascinated with the idea that it [the artwork] can become a jumping off point for the audiences’ own personal memories and interpretations,” he said.

Armstrong has previously exhibited “Address’er Drawers,” in a Denver gallery.

Armstrong’s work is also being featured in the fall issue of CIVAScene a quarterly newsletter for Christians in Visual Arts. The article will discuss past exhibitions that have dealt with issues of creativity, depression and the arts.

John Brown University is a private Christian university ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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