Arrowmont Craft Conversations: Alex Merchant, collagist and painter

Alex Merchant lives comfortably in in-between spaces. His work examines what people do and say in physical and digital spaces; finding common ground will still revealing ideological or aesthetic dissonance through layered images. He uses his own life as a lens to view ambiguous spaces as someone raised in a household both white and Black, a community mixed politically between liberal and conservative; and as a self-described US anthropological creator.

Alex shares insights into his process, his excitement to experience Arrowmont as an instructor for the first time, and the ways having a ‘day job’ is essential to his successful art practice in this video. Click the image below or visit https://youtu.be/6VKcx3eTTIU to watch.

This summer, Alex teaches his first Arrowmont workshop, UNCOVERING THAT WHICH WE HAVE FORGOTTEN, July 18 – 23, 2021. In his workshop, students will engage in a practice of letting go of control, through a layered collage and multimedia technique that allows the artist to visually collide two different images. Call 865-436-5860 or visit https://www.arrowmont.org/workshops-classes/workshops/ to register.

Alex MerchantAs an artist deeply grounded in race and gender theory, Alex attempts to bridge connections between seemingly endless cultural miscommunication. With any culture, language plays a key role in shaping both individual ideology and group think. Influenced by his upbringing in the Midwest – an area heavily impacted by race-politics and industrial commerce — Alex measures those experiences against his current home in a contemporary urban landscape. His art incorporates a wide range of media, historical documents, pop iconography, and current events in order to demystify the politics of geography. Alex currently works as a student affairs professional for New York University in New York City.

Alex Merchant’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgptzd-DMw6SfzBGQ7A3-DQ

Alex Merchant’s Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/dabblindribblin

See more Arrowmont Craft Conversations at www.arrowmont.org/craft-conversations.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation

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