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Denim Artist Honors Working-Class Perseverance in Material World


"Totemic Figures" beckons further investigation of "Those of Us Still Living," on exhibit through Oct. 1.
“Totemic Figures” beckons further investigation of “Those of Us Still Living,” on exhibit through Oct. 1.
One of James Arendt's daughters is depicted in a piece titled "Harper (Firecracker)." Penny Griffin Lutz, gallery manager, embroidered the artworks'  titles on denim as an ingenious alternative to the gallery's standard printed labels.
One of James Arendt’s daughters is depicted in a piece titled “Harper (Firecracker).” Penny Griffin Lutz, gallery manager, embroidered the artworks’ titles on denim as an ingenious alternative to the gallery’s standard printed labels.
The artist motions during a gallery talk that ranged from his personal life and inspirations to his concerns over unemployment and the importance of meaningful work …
The artist motions during a gallery talk that ranged from his personal life and inspirations to his concerns over unemployment and the importance of meaningful work …
… and discusses the "toughness" that he wanted to sew into "Meghann" – via rivets – to honor a niece. He explained that he works with denim because it is "the working-class fabric."
… and discusses the “toughness” that he wanted to sew into “Meghann” – via rivets – to honor a niece. He explained that he works with denim because it is “the working-class fabric.”
A crowd of about 150 patrons visits the Gallery at Penn College for the exhibit's opening.
A crowd of about 150 patrons visits the Gallery at Penn College for the exhibit’s opening.

The steadfastness of the human spirit, interpreted through the enduring qualities of denim, is championed in “Those of Us Still Living,” on display in The Gallery at Penn College through Oct. 1.  A reception and remarks by artist James Arendt were held Tuesday evening in the gallery, located on the third floor of Madigan Library. Hours for the free exhibit are 1-4 p.m. Sundays, 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. The gallery is closed Mondays and Saturdays.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

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