As a child growing up in the woods just outside of Rochester, Minnesota, I was inspired by the beauty of my surroundings to create art. As a teen I became fascinated with motors and cars and discovered my innate mechanical abilities. Every Saturday, instead of playing in soccer or baseball games, I was begging for a ride to a family friend’s salvage yard where I learned welding and auto repair. It was there I first imagined a man emerging from a pile of scrap metal and welded him together.
I continued my education and exploration of welding in high school auto mechanics class. When I first arrived in the school’s shop, the welder was covered with a tarp in the corner. It had not been used in years. I got it up and running and started producing more art. That is when people started to notice.
My mother bought me a welder for Christmas and allowed me to turn our garage into a studio. Being able to create sculptures at home opened many doors for me as I embarked upon an artistic exploration. I entered pieces in art displays and competitions to see how the public would react to my newfound passion. After starting to submit my art, I began to receive commissions and win awards.
After taking a variety of classes in art, auto mechanics, and business at Rochester Community and Technical College, I enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo to pursue a BFA in Visual Arts, graduating in 2009 after four semesters on the Dean’s List. I explored how the human body moved, trying to impart that humanity to pieces of old iron. I was invited to submit a sculpture to the initial SPACE competition sponsored by the Plains Art Museum in Fargo where my winning entry was displayed outside of the museum for a year. To have my work exhibited in the same museum as my favorite sculptor, August Rodin, was a great honor.
Since then, my art can be found in numerous private collections, but most notably the sculpture Industrious Man was purchased by the City of Fargo for permanent installation in a pocket park on NP Avenue in downtown Fargo, North Dakota.
I am currently working on a variety of projects; further exploring metal fabrication as an artistic medium.
Andrew Ray Arend
Rochester MN and Kodiak AK
Art, Canoeing, Fishing, Boating, Hiking, Snow Boarding, Fixing Cars, and much more.
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