Mark Earnhart

Artist Statement:

Mark Earnhart is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montana State University Billings where he teaches Sculpture and Three-Dimensional practices. He received his MFA from the University of Maryland in 2013 and continues his practice exhibiting nationally. He has experience as a Gallery Director, Museum Preparator, Museum Educator, Studio Technician, Art Handler, Artist Assistant, Lifeguard, UPS Driver and Airplane Fueler among many other things.

“Encountering a thing is complicated. There is a system of recognition where material, function and value are assessed. This cadence of acknowledgement is dependent on factors of want and need. But just beneath this hierarchy of categorizing are our own scenarios and histories with things. The personal reflected with an object is a powerful perception. It is our own experience that makes the idea of a thing go beyond materiality, utility and cost.

I am interested in the intersection of objects and personal history. My work is about creating narratives through the familiar and unfamiliar. The orientation of the known next to the alien is the conflict. I am interested in how proximity can create dialog and how the nonsensical can create content. These stories are rooted with in myself but end up being fictionalized by the interruption of idealizing actual events from the past.

I reconstruct and reevaluate un-precious common objects using widely varying materials. My method is often a repetitive action; a kind of addiction of constraint to which I place conditions on material, concept and outcome. I often begin with words, stories and sayings because language is at the center of human reaction.”