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 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 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 His art incorporates a wide range of media, historical documents, pop iconography, and current events in order to demystify the politics of geography.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:

Alex Merchant’s Podcast:

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