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A Parent Story: Arden Bendler Browning

I am primarily a painter. My work is informed by my environment, travel, perception through digital media, and the meeting ground of abstract space and everyday landscape. I make very large paintings and have always been interested in creating immersive, transportive spaces. During the past 2 years, my work has expanded to include virtual reality (VR) 3D painting. Before Covid-19 concerns about shared headsets, inviting visitors to try out my 3D VR paintings was a joy and so much fun for both me and my guests. I intend to show the VR work through video loop in the meantime. The most recent and ongoing body of work is a feedback cycle. I gather inspiration and references by making many quick and small travel size drawings while in the car during roadtrips. When I return to my studio, I photograph my travel drawings and then enlarge them so that they are the size of entire walls. Wearing the VR headset, I build out rooms composed of my travel drawings as backgrounds, and then create 3D paintings of related but new abstract walkable spaces. I document the 3D virtual paintings by video capture. I then make very large paintings while watching the videos of the 3D VR paintings.

During the stay at home period, I made travel paintings while taking a virtual road trip through Peru and Ecuador via Google maps Street Views. I painted as I clicked along the planned routes my family and I were to have taken during our planned March-April 2020 trip to the region. I then created a VR work based on some of these drawings. Additionally, I reworked every small painting panel I had that I no longer loved, and painted from the snapshots I had taken during our very brief outings into urban expanses of nature.

My work is represented by Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Galleri Urbane in Dallas, and Tinney Contemporary in Nashville. Each of these art dealers facilitate all sales of my work. The galleries and I split the profit of all art sales. Each gallery has a separate inventory of work. I also have a self published artist book that is available for sale. My work ranges in price with size and material : the smaller travel paintings on paper cost much less than the 8 foot shaped paintings and labor intensive interactive works. My work will be shown in Nashville as Covid-19 precautions permit reopening of the galleries. People can see my public art at the Philadelphia International Airport, where I was commissioned to create a permanent mural in Terminal D in 2017, and at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Beyond the Philadelphia region, Dream Hotel Nashville features an installation of 6 of my paintings, and Toyota Headquarters near Dallas features several of my large paintings. Many corporate and private collectors throughout the US and Canada also own my work. I regularly post updates from my studio on Instagram. I occasionally participate in public open studio visits, and more commonly invite smaller groups or classes to visit my studio. I occasionally visit universities to present lectures on my work and to interact with art students and their work.

Bendler Browning a Philadelphia-based artist who specializes in large abstract paintings, small works on paper, and virtual reality (VR) environments. She holds a BFA in Art with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1997), a Master of Studio Art with high distinctions from Sydney College of the Arts (2000), and an MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art (2003). Her work has been featured in a variety of magazines, museums and universities. She is also the mother of twins who both attend Quadrat Academy.



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