Jim Arendt, director of the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery at Coastal Carolina University, won the $50,000 grand prize at ArtFields, a juried art competition and festival held in Lake City April 19-28.
Arendt's winning entry was a piece titled "Jamie," composed entirely from cut denim fabric. Arendt uses blue jean material to produce his three-dimensional, wall mounted artworks, because, he says, "for the people I want to depict, this material is truer to their experience."
Arendt, who joined the CCU staff in 2011, is a native of Flint, Mich. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting from USC.
His work has been exhibited regionally and internationally, most recently at the Hub-Bub Gallery's "Emerging Carolina" exhibit in Spartanburg where he was awarded Best in Show. His work will also be displayed in the Fiberarts International 2013 in Pittsburgh and the 2013 Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennial in the Netherlands. Prior to joining CCU, Arendt was the gallery director at FAB Gallery at South Carolina State University and an art instructor at the University of South Carolina.
More than 400 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, photography and two- and three-dimensional pieces, were exhibited in Lake City's inaugural ArtFest. A total of $100,000 was awarded to participating artists at the 10-day event.