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  • Corryn Patterson

CCU professor making art out of waste in international exhibition

James Arendt, director of the Bryan Art Gallery and assistant professor of art at Coastal Carolina University, is getting his chance to put his art in an exhibition in Baku, Azerbaijan.

This exhibition, “From Waste to Art,” not only gives artists the chance to show their work, but also raises public awareness on waste problems.

Tamiz Shahar provides waste disposal services to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The country sits north of Iran, near the Caspian Sea.

Best known for his creations of art from recycled denim, Arendt is one of 10 to 20 artists around the world who has been invited to join the project this year.

More than 80 artists from 30 countries have their artwork exhibited in the “From Waste to Art” Museum, and Arendt has the opportunity to join them.

Arendt opened up and talked about his idea for the project.

“I’ll be working to transform the stream of refuse into a sound piece designed to create a ‘voice’ for others from castoff material," said Arendt.

He hopes his art will encourage freedom of expression.

"For any artist, an invitation to work comes with a responsibility to speak in support of freedom of expression, especially when that freedom is increasing under threat at home and abroad," said Arendt. "Artists beckon and transform society into an environment where we can exist. I hope my work can help those who dare to speak the truth in times of turmoil and oppression, even if only as a banner to rally around.”

Arendt will be participating in the event and creating his piece of art for 10 days, which started Sept. 29.

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