Unique Wire Based Installation Inspired by Garage Sale Finds

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Wire Art

John Brown University Professor Joel Armstrong has created a unique wire based installation that will be on display in the University of Arkansas sUgAR gallery in Bentonville. The upcoming exhibit entitled “Garage Sale” features art inspired by items found at garage sales in the area. The installation will open on Sept. 12, host an all-day garage sale on Oct. 7, and conclude on Oct. 8.

The exhibit will feature the items Armstrong has collected at garage sales as well as the wire renderings and paintings of the collected items. Inside the gallery the interior and facade of an actual garage will be built to display the art work. The garage sale items will be outside the garage and portions of the gallery floor will be covered in sod to add to the environment. Armstrong plans to advertise the exhibit with signs attached to cardboard boxes on street corners in order to attract the traditional garage sale crowd as well as the art crowd.

“As an installation artist, the entire gallery becomes my canvas. Installation art goes far beyond the aspect of viewing; it’s meant to be experienced,” Armstrong said. “I’m fascinated with the idea that art can become a jumping off point for an audience member’s personal memories and interpretation.”

Armstrong has held exhibits of his wire art in London, England; Denver, Colo; Ft. Collins, Colo; Greeley, Colo; Tulsa, Okla., and Siloam Springs, Ark.

Through his art, Armstrong seeks to tell stories that reflect the human experience. His previous art installations have addressed issues such as Armstrong’s Bipolar diagnosis, entitled “Drawn & Quartered: a bipolar frame of mind”; unaddressed letters discovered posthumously in his mother’s dresser drawer, entitled “It’s time to Adress’er Drawers”; the world of night fishing, entitled “Emersion: the Sign of Jonah”; and a day’s worth of laundry he collected from home, entitled “Clothes Lines.” Each of these wire installations has included sights, sounds and smells to enhance the viewer’s interaction and experience with the art. Armstrong was raised in Corpus Christi, TEX, where he grew to love fishing, salt air, humidity and rust. He attended Texas Tech University and spent over 20 years as both an illustrator and graphic designer. Armstrong returned to college to receive his MFA in drawing from Colorado State University (2001). At CSU, Joel began to work in wire and then became interested in Installation art. He has continued to do wire based installation art for over 10 years, using baler wire and a unique rusting technique that references back to his childhood memories of the Texas gulf coast. Armstrong teaches drawing and illustration at John Brown University. He is married to an artist, and their three children are also artists.

Siloam Springs, Arkansas (September 1, 2011) - John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked second among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and is listed as one of America's Best Colleges by Forbes. JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 39 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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