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“Swab the Titanic” with Mark Wilhelm this Wednesday

November 18, 2013
Pre-Apocalaypse Panda Control

This Wednesday, the Community Arts Center’s artist in residence Mark Wilhelm takes center stage to talk about his evolution as an artist at Lunch with the Arts.

As may be apparent from his subtitle “Swab the Titanic: How to Ride out the Decline in Style”- and from his works, Mark has a different style and attitude than most working artists, and he embraces the seemingly absurd. His art often takes two opposite or unrelated topics and melds them together in a humorous or thought-provoking way.

From jockeys riding unicorns to rabbits playing dulcimers, crabs wearing Campbell’s soup cans to pink skulls with braces, Mark’s work can be found in storefront windows and restaurants around Danville, sparking conversation and prompting head scratches.

“My goal with art is to make people happier after they see it than before,” he says. “The basic message is as follows: Is the world a terrible place sometimes? Yes, it is. Does that mean we can’t have fun anyway? No, it doesn’t!”

A painter, sculptor and digital artist, Wilhelm is also exploring recycled and repurposed art in anticipation of our upcoming blockbuster exhibit, “Re,” which opens Feb. 5. A cardboard-and-paper fox head is now mounted on a wall at the Beer Engine, and cardboard rhinoceros and horse heads are outside Wilhelm’s studio here at the Arts Center. If you stop by soon, you’ll get to meet a six-foot tall-bear, still a work in progress, made from discarded materials.

Mark Wilhelm at work in the studio with bear

As the Arts Center’s artist in residence, Mark works out of a studio on the first floor. He can be found at work most Wednesday through Friday afternoons and welcomes drop-in visitors. His studio door is always open when the Arts Center is open, so guests are able to check out Wilhelm’s art in various stages of completion, and can participate in group art projects like the community Lego sculpture or doodle collection.  

Mark’s Lunch with the Arts presentation features slides and examples of his work, a demonstration and a question and answer session. Guests must register online by Monday at 5 p.m. to reserve lunch at the event for $10, or guests may bring their own lunch and pay $5 at the door for the program only. Centre College students get in free by showing their student ID.

Learn more about Mark on his website, and follow him on Instagram!