South Carolina artist Jim Arendt explores the shifting paradigms of labor and place. Influenced by the radical reshaping of the rural and industrial landscapes he grew up in, he investigates how transitions in economic structures affect individual lives. The body of work in the exhibition is made from reclaimed denim—often donated by those depicted—to bring a stronger bond to Arendt's content and the people portrayed. Arendt explains his work by saying, "Art making is a way for me to explore how we relate to work. I've paid witness to the demise of opportunities to engage in meaningful work and seen cities ravaged by the absence of industry. As the landscape of work and labor continues to shift around us, I use art making as a way to investigate how the division of labor and alienation from work has impacted individual lives."
Recently, Arendt was shortlisted for The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art and received the South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Artist Fellowship. His work was awarded the $50,000 top prize at ArtFields and was included in Fiberarts International 2013 & 2016 and the 2013 Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennial, Netherlands.