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University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Science opened artist's eyes

July 7, 2010

Miles Mendenhall.

Miles Mendenhall claims that, left on his own, he "would never take a science course." He was forced ("encouraged") to take science courses as an art student at the U of M.

Broadening his thinking
At the U, Mendenhall first focused on painting and sculpture and later, after the science courses, on printmaking.

"It’s important," he says, "not to just concentrate on art but to also bring a bunch of areas of study into your conceptual thinking about the stuff that you’re making. … That breadth of knowledge really … open[ed] up what I was interested in artistically."

Winner of a Jerome Foundation grant and a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, Mendenhall has shown his art in the Gallery at Fox Tax in Minneapolis and in a group exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum. He recently finished a residency at High Point Center for Printmaking.

Becoming a reality TV star
Mendenhall can currently be seen on Bravo’s reality show "Work of Art." He and 13 other artists are competing to win $100,000 and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

The entire show has been taped, but Mendenhall is keeping his vow of secrecy as to just how far he got. He does say the show helped him appreciate "simple, perception-based imagery in a time period where stimulation … is so entrenched in our society."

"[It’s] so beautiful," he says, "to make something that people can appreciate without all that excess stimulation."

Future is bright gray
Mendenhall is planning to travel down to Arizona "to keep going" with work he began at High Point Center. Which means, he says, "simple, really gray imagery and translating that into a carbon printing process." Then he hopes "to bring it back here to create some large-scale works on paper."

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

videoMiles on science & art 

Miles on science & art

videoMiles on his U of M experience 

Miles on his U of M experience

Related Links

"Work of Art" Miles viewing party

ART 1501: Printmaking

BA in art

BA in art history

Department of Art