Wendell Arneson worked as a professor of art at St. Olaf College from 1978 to 2016 where he taught painting, drawing and color design. Arneson’s honors and awards include a research travel grant to the British Isles and Italy.
In 1994 and 1996 he received a research and development grant allowing him to participate in Master Artist workshops at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts with Gregory Amenoff and Nathan Oliveria. In 2009, St. Olaf College awarded Arneson the Oscar and Gertrude Boe Overby Distinguished Professorship recognizing his long, influential teaching career at St. Olaf. His work has been shown in galleries throughout the Midwestern United States and is featured in numerous corporate and museum collections. Arneson lives in Northfield, Minnesota with his wife and two daughters.
I am interested in work that resides in both objective and non-objective worlds. I am equally attracted to the gesture and the non-descriptive mark as well as the power and ambiguity of symbol and image. Paintings inhabit a place between the known and the unknown. Art, for me, does not provide answers but rather provokes questions and seeks possibilities.
These paintings use image and symbol to convey the internal. Beginning with ideas derived from memory and/or observation these paintings explore questions raised through formal investigation and contemplation of the spiritual. I am an image-maker and interested in the juxtaposition of images that, for me, evoke time, place, memory, fragility, strength, journey, and hope. Through the process of discovery I seek clarity while honoring mystery and ambiguity.