Story Sticks: Rob Millard-Mendez
January 02, 2023
Jerry Drown Wood Studio Gallery | January 2 – March 3, 2023
Rob Millard-Mendez was born in a New England textile town with an incredible industrial past. From an early age, he was enthralled with mechanics, motion, and the wonders created by practical, no-nonsense makers.
“The primary aim in my work is to illustrate and analyze concepts that I find enthralling. The resulting objects deal on many levels with formal and conceptual issues. In my work, I hope to show an equal blending of art, craft, and the presentation of engaging ideas in intriguing ways. The works are meant to involve the viewer visually and intellectually.
My sources include mythology, science, history, and American Folk Art (among others). The objects I make reflect the sensibilities of a person steeped in New England practicality who (for better or worse) ended up learning about things like art history, existentialist philosophy, and post-structuralist theory. Some of my sculptures are based on themes from classical mythology viewed through the lens of contemporary events. I have a strong interest in how mythemes surface and re-surface throughout human history in many varied (but related) guises.
Craft is an important aspect of my work. I identify strongly with the idea of the artist as a kind of Daedalean hybrid: artist/artisan/shaman. Visual art, like mythology, has the power to compel us with its resonant imagery. It is my hope that my works will, in some small way, enrich the viewer and make her/him see the world as slightly more tragic or laughable (or possibly both at the same time).”
Rob’s work has been shown in over 500 exhibitions in all fifty states as well as internationally. He has had many solo exhibitions and he has received over 120 awards for his art and his teaching. Rob’s sculptures are in over sixty private and public collections and images of his work have appeared in Sculpture Magazine, American Craft, two Lark Books, Art New England, and many other publications.
Rob is a Professor of Art in the Art and Design Department at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana. He teaches 3-D Design, Woodworking, and Sculpture. He received an MFA in Sculpture from UMASS Dartmouth