You're invited to the opening of my installation called RUSTED, on the First Thursday of September 7, at Stage Eighteen, Fayetteville Arkansas

My Show called RUSTED will be opening. Stage EIghteen, the greatest venue in Fayetteville. Always something different, entertaining, and unique! Great Drinks, too!

Artist and educator Joel Armstrong will feature two series of rust-related artworks throughout the month of September at Stage Eighteen. Join us for a free opening reception held during First Thursday from 5-9pm on the evening of September 7.  Joel's work is a culmination of his practice, influenced by his education, personal experiences, readings, and world history. He highlights both rust and gold, examining rust as a force that can wear down strong materials, while gold harkens to renewal and continued enriching experiences. All artworks will be for sale at various price points.  Artist Statement: My installations have always based on stories. Whether these stories were from personal memories of growing up, family history, or those shared with me—stories led my artwork. There was safety in those stories, and if a viewer dug deep enough or long enough, they could always find the clues to understanding my work. In a way, the wire pieces mirrored the originals in the form of rust paintings.  Along with these stories was a personal vocabulary in the materials I used, which included wire and rust. The wire I used for over 15 years was baling wire; a staple traditionally used to bind up, shut out, and fence in a family or homestead from the unknown, or in some ways, from actually being known. Having been someone who always dealt with depression, when I read Andrew Solomon’s book The Noonday Demon, I was enlightened to read “Mild depression is a gradual and sometimes permanent thing that undermines people the way rust weakens iron.” I attended a workshop called "100 Drawings" in Bennington, Vermont lead by Dean Nimmer. The workshop focused on allowing intuition to guide your artwork, rather than relying so much on a plan for completion. I brought with me my traditional rust patina that I was so comfortable with; however, I didn't allow myself to take along the wire which was so much the base of all my work for so many years. I also semi-intuitively brought along a gold glaze paint. Working on three different colored art papers, I began making intuitive marks first with the rust, then gold, and finally a beautiful contrasting blue. The gold proved to be a startling contrast to rust, both in reality and also in theory. The old was being made new again, as the decay of rust was being overtaken and simultaneously enriched by the shimmering gold. The combination of the gold and bright blue made these works come alive in such a way that one might easily imagine how gold and rich colored fabrics filled old world tapestries. Artist Biography Joel Armstrong grew up in Corpus Christi, TX, where he grew to love fishing, salt air, humidity, and rust. After attending Texas Tech University, he spent over 20 years as an illustrator and graphic designer. Armstrong received his MFA in drawing from Colorado State University in 2001. At CSU, he began working with rusted wire. Recently, Armstrong has started working with nickel/silver wire, rust and gold paintings, as well as aluminum public art pieces. The artist currently teaches drawing and illustration at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Artist and educator Joel Armstrong will feature two series of rust-related artworks throughout the month of September at Stage Eighteen. Join us for a free opening reception held during First Thursday from 5-9pm on the evening of September 7. 

Joel's work is a culmination of his practice, influenced by his education, personal experiences, readings, and world history. He highlights both rust and gold, examining rust as a force that can wear down strong materials, while gold harkens to renewal and continued enriching experiences. All artworks will be for sale at various price points. 

Artist Statement:
My installations have always based on stories. Whether these stories were from personal memories of growing up, family history, or those shared with me—stories led my artwork. There was safety in those stories, and if a viewer dug deep enough or long enough, they could always find the clues to understanding my work. In a way, the wire pieces mirrored the originals in the form of rust paintings. 

Along with these stories was a personal vocabulary in the materials I used, which included wire and rust. The wire I used for over 15 years was baling wire; a staple traditionally used to bind up, shut out, and fence in a family or homestead from the unknown, or in some ways, from actually being known. Having been someone who always dealt with depression, when I read Andrew Solomon’s book The Noonday Demon, I was enlightened to read “Mild depression is a gradual and sometimes permanent thing that undermines people the way rust weakens iron.”

I attended a workshop called "100 Drawings" in Bennington, Vermont lead by Dean Nimmer. The workshop focused on allowing intuition to guide your artwork, rather than relying so much on a plan for completion. I brought with me my traditional rust patina that I was so comfortable with; however, I didn't allow myself to take along the wire which was so much the base of all my work for so many years. I also semi-intuitively brought along a gold glaze paint.

Working on three different colored art papers, I began making intuitive marks first with the rust, then gold, and finally a beautiful contrasting blue. The gold proved to be a startling contrast to rust, both in reality and also in theory. The old was being made new again, as the decay of rust was being overtaken and simultaneously enriched by the shimmering gold. The combination of the gold and bright blue made these works come alive in such a way that one might easily imagine how gold and rich colored fabrics filled old world tapestries.

Artist Biography
Joel Armstrong grew up in Corpus Christi, TX, where he grew to love fishing, salt air, humidity, and rust. After attending Texas Tech University, he spent over 20 years as an illustrator and graphic designer. Armstrong received his MFA in drawing from Colorado State University in 2001. At CSU, he began working with rusted wire. Recently, Armstrong has started working with nickel/silver wire, rust and gold paintings, as well as aluminum public art pieces. The artist currently teaches drawing and illustration at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

"It's time to address'er drawers" wins first place

Joel Armstrong's installation "Time to Address'er Drawers" takes 1st Place at the international juried show "When Language Meets Art" in Lubbock, Texas. Dec 2nd, 2016.

standing in front of the artwork on opening night, 10 x 20 ft, wire and furniture. There are sound effects, a woman reading a letter, the images coincide with the letter, the letter can be read on the lamp, and all the words of a journal page are made of silver wire, and inside the drawers.  

standing in front of the artwork on opening night, 10 x 20 ft, wire and furniture. There are sound effects, a woman reading a letter, the images coincide with the letter, the letter can be read on the lamp, and all the words of a journal page are made of silver wire, and inside the drawers.

 

large crowd on First Friday. 

large crowd on First Friday. 

What can happen when you have a great photographer!

Several years ago, I had a local photographer friend, Luke Davis http://www.mainstreetstudios.net shoot some photos of some of my favorite pieces. Going through my iphoto images, I ran into these beautiful images that he took. I couldn't be prouder, nor happier at what Luke shot. I think it is time to get some new images photographed by him, again. 

Party Dress

Party Dress

Laura's nurse tattoo  

Laura's nurse tattoo

 

Leslie's Violin

Leslie's Violin

Alyssa's Drawing  

Alyssa's Drawing

 

I'm teaching a "Drawing with Wire" workshop next summer

I was just invited to teach a weeklong class called "Drawing with Wire" next summer July 10th thru 14th at the Mark Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. They offer amazing classes on all aspects of woodworking as well as supplemental classes like mine, that can offer food for thought to their students. It is open to the public, you can find out about classes at www.marcadams.com.

Nickel/Silver wire snow geese. 

Nickel/Silver wire snow geese. 

nickel silver wire lily

nickel silver wire lily

It will include working with baling wire, as well as the nickel/silver wire. 

Party dress, baling wire, rusted

Party dress, baling wire, rusted

Commissioned Bass Guitar

A good friend wanted his favorite Bass Guitar created out of silver wire. It proved to be multi-layers due to all the detail. I finished it and picked it up to admire it when the top neck of the guitar hit the fan. I'll never do that again. I was soon back at the wire and solder drawing board. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE DETAILS)

The completed piece

The completed piece