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joel armstrong artist bio



There has never been a time in my life that art has not been my focus. My professional background was as an illustrator, graphic designer, and professor, even though the actual creation of art always overlapped. I started as a painter and moved to colored pencils, from an undergraduate painting major to a drawing major in graduate school. I spent years as an illustrator and fine artist, working specifically with colored pencils. I still do a majority of my work in colored pencil.

As a drawing major at Colorado State, I was encouraged to give up the pencils and charcoal, so I worked with wire as a drawing medium. That started me on a track of doing wire drawings and creating wire-based installations. Mostly with baling wire, I eventually started using nickel/silver wire and solder for a completely different look and end product. I also began working with wire and paper, creating fun, affordable artwork with a broad appeal. 


     Artist Joel Armstrong was raised in Corpus Christi, TX, where he grew to love fishing, salt air, humidity, and rust. He attended Texas Tech University and spent over 20 years as both an illustrator and graphic designer. While art director of Group, a magazine for youth ministers, at the age of 39, Joel returned to College to receive his MFA in drawing from Colorado State University (2001). At CSU, Joel began to work in wire and then became interested in Installation art. He has continued to do wire installation for almost 20 years after graduation. More recently, he has begun working with nickel/ silver wire, rust, and gold paintings, as well as aluminum public art pieces. He recently retired from teaching drawing and illustration at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and currently resides and does the artwork in Silver City, NM. He is married to an artist, with 3 adult children and two grandchildren.




2015      “Springs”, Siloam Springs, AR
              “Gaggle of Geese”, John Brown University Art Department, Siloam Springs, AR

2018    If You Only Knew, Old Courthouse Art Center, Woodstock IL.
            Of A Feather, Ann Marie Sculpture Garden, and Art Center, Dowell, MD.
            To Be Heard, Old Courthouse Art Center, Woodstock, IL. 
2017    ART INC Exhibition, Art Center of the Ozarks, Springdale, AR.
              Holiday Art Sale, Gallery at Midtown, Bentonville, AR.
              23rd Annual ANA Regional Exhibit, Fayetteville, AR.
              All Botanical, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Best of Show-3D and Mixed Media
              Word Jumble, bG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
              Sea of Art, bG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
              3rd Annual ‘Collaboration and Mixed Media’ Exhibition, Gallery at Center for Creative                  Education, West Palm Beach, FL
              The Art of the Bloom, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
2016      When Language Meets Art Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock,                TX First Place Award. 
2015      Bird. Art: The Artist’s Eye View of Birds, Bathhouse Cultural Center, Dallas, TX
              Reclaimed, Retold. Crossroads Art Center, Richmond, VA
2014      Lines Into Shapes, Art Center of Estes Park, Estes Park, CO
2013      Texas National 2013, Stephen F. Austin Univ., Nacogdoches, TX
              Chandelier-An Exhibition of Illuminated Objects, Living Arts, Tulsa, OK
              Art that lifts our Spirits, Manhattan, New York. NY.
2012      Material Transformation, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
2001      This American Lawn, Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Mesa, AZ Jurors Award:
              selected as part of a two-year traveling exhibition.
2000      Home, Soil Gallery, Seattle, WA
              Spark Juried Show 2000, Spark Gallery, Denver, CO
1998      Lines Into Shapes, Art Center of Estes Park, Estes Park, CO
              Pleiades Gallery, 16th Annual Juried Exhibition, New York, NY. Juror: Ivan Karp.
               WOW, Core Art Gallery, Denver, CO     
1997      Spark Juried Show 1997, Spark Gallery, Denver, CO
              Colorado Open, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO
              Figurative Show, Core Art Gallery, Denver, CO. Jurors Choice Award.
              Creative Arts Symposium, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO. First Place, Drawing 
1993      Colorado/Wyoming Biennial, One West Art Center, Ft Collins, CO
1989      Dallas Society of Illustrators, Dallas, TX
1987      Illustration/Dallas, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
              Dallas Society of Illustrators, Dallas, TX
1986      Critics Choice, Dallas, TX
              Texas Fine Art Association—Citation, Dallas, TX
1985      Dallas Society of Illustrators, Dallas, TX
1984      Dallas Society of Illustrators, Dallas, TX
1983      Dallas Society of Illustrators, Dallas, TX
1981      New York Society of Illustrators, Student Exhibition, NY, NY
              Dallas Society of Visual Communications, Student Exhibition, Dallas, TX
              Tienniel, New Orleans Art Center, New Orleans, LA 1979  
              Montessori School Artist Invitation, Fayetteville, AR
              National Student Graphic Arts Exhibition, Washington, DC
              Northwest Arkansas Artists Exhibition, Fayetteville, AR. Honorable Mention.
              11th Annual Arkansas Artists Exhibition, Pine Bluff, AR
1978      20th National Sun Carnival Art Exhibition, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX  
              Texas College Art Exhibition, Dallas, TX
1977      Works on Paper, San Marcos, TX


2020       Rust, Rocks, and Roses. Llano Art Guild Gallery, Llano, TX.

2022       It Figures!, Light Art Space, Silver City, NM.

2020       It's Time to Address'er Drawers, Light Art Space, Silver City, NM.
2019       CLOTHESlines, Light Art Space, Silver City, NM.
2018       It's Time to Address'er Drawers, The Art Gym, Denver, CO.
               VORTEX: John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR  
               It's Time to Address'er Drawers, Art Center of the Ozarks, Springdale, AR.
               CLOTHESlines, LHUCA, Lott Gallery, Lubbock, TX.
2017       Rusted, Installation of much of my rust-inspired work. Stage 18. Fayetteville, AR
2016       Different Paths, Same Direction, JBU faculty show, Siloam Springs, AR
2015       Rust & Gold, Arsagas at the Depot, Fayetteville, AR
               Milestones, Café on Broadway, Siloam Springs, AR
               Rust & Gold, 100 Paintings JBU Student Art Gallery, Siloam Springs, AR
2014       Gifts of Art, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI
2013       Through the Eyes of a Child, Collaboration with 2nd-grade class and Drawing II,
               John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
2012       Clotheslines, Fayetteville Underground, Featured Artist, Fayetteville, Arkansas
               Lit Paths, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
2011       Garage Sale, sUgAR Gallery, Bentonville, AR
2009       On the Line, a collaborative installation with Neil Ward, Living Arts, Tulsa, OK
               Failing Hearts, a collaborative installation with Neil Ward, Living Arts, Tulsa, OK
2007       One Body, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
2006       John Brown University Faculty Exhibit, JBU Art Dept. Gallery, Siloam Springs, AR
2005       It’s Time to Address’er Drawers, St. Brides Type Library, London, England
2003       Creativity and the Bipolar Mind, Access Gallery, Denver, CO
2001       Drawn and Quartered; a Bipolar Frame of Mind, Hatton Gallery, Ft. Collins, CO.
               MFA Thesis Exhibition. 
2000       Emersion) the Sign of Jonah, Lincoln Center, Ft. Collins, CO
1999       Drawings 1997-98, Ft. Collins MOCA, Ft. Collins, CO
               Emersion) the Sign of Jonah, Mariani Gallery, Greeley, CO
               Clothes Lines, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO


2011       Garage Sale, a wire-based installation by Joel Armstrong, Self-Published, 2011. 
2009       WIRED!, Self-Published, 2009. 


2020      "It’s time to Address’er Drawers” Desert Exposure                      desertexposure/stories/its-time-to-addresser-drawers,3611
2015       Joel Armstrong: Mediums and Variations, online interview,
2010       Armstrong proves victorious in bipolar battle, The Threefold Advocate, 2010. 
2009       John O’Reilly and Tony Linkson, Inspiration by Storytelling, Recharge Your Design                 Batteries, How Press. May 2009
               Nadia Russ, 21st Century Art: Compendium of New Millennium Contemporary Art,                 Neopop realism. August 2009. 
2008       Annie Melion, ATC’s Member Artist Feature—Joel Armstrong, Art Trader Magazine,                     Issue 2, Spring, 2008.
               Sal Scheibe, The Best of, Illustrated August 2008. 
2007       Armstrong uses baling wire art to build community, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2007. 
               Artist Drawn to New Dimensions, Northwest Arkansas Times, 2007. 
               All in one, Northwest Arkansas Times, 2007. 
               Joel Armstrong draws an intimate portrait of JBU art department, What’s Up!—                       Northwest Arkansas Times, 2007. 
2006       Professor bends wire art into campus installation, The Threefold Advocate, 2006. 
2005       Joel Armstrong, Drawn and Quartered, a Bipolar State of Mind. CIVASEEN,                               Christians in the Visual Arts, Fall 2005. 
               Drawing with wire, Our Town—The Morning News, 2005. 
               JBU art show opens Tuesday, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2005. 
2004       Art in London, Herald-Leader, 2004. 
2000       Wired; Artist’s touches evoke memories, Loveland Reporter-Herald, 2000. 
               Mow better blues, Newtimes, 2000. 
               American Lawn’ fills the eye, Reach, 2000. 

2008      Inspiration through Collaboration, Paper presentation, St Brides Type Library, London, England. 

2015      Llano Workshop, Llano, TX. 
2014      Llano Workshop, Llano, TX. 
2013      Glen West Workshop, Oil Pastels, Image Journal, Sante Fe, NM. 
              Art New England, Summer workshop, 100 drawings, Bennington, VT
2010      Glen East Workshop, Weaving Workshop, Image Journal, Amherst, MA. 
2009      Glen Workshop, Collage Workshop, Image Journal, Sante Fe, NM. 
2007      Glen Workshop, Assemblage workshop, Image Journal, Sante Fe, NM. 
              Art New England, Summer workshop, Wire Sculpture, Bennington, VT. 
2006      Visual Arts Summer Workshop, Figure Drawing, CIVA, Gordon College, MA. 
2005      Glen Workshop, Assemblage workshop, Image Journal, Sante Fe, NM. 

              100 Drawings. Art New England, Summer Workshop. Bennington, VT.

1997-2001      MFA, Drawing, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO
1980-1981      East Texas State University, Commerce, TX. Graduate studies toward an MFA in                              Design and Illustration
1978-1979      University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. Graduate studies toward an MFA in Drawing
1976-1978      BFA, Painting, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
1974-1976      AA, Fine Art, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX 

2010            John Brown University Shipps Grant
                    Res Artis summer fellowship, Ateliers Fourwinds, Aurielle, France, 2010. 
2008-11       John Brown University Professional Summer Grant, Garage Sale
2008-09       John Brown University Shipps Grant for Neil Ward/Joel Armstrong collaboration
2006-07       John Brown University Shipps Grant for One Body Installation


2017       Co-led Student 6 week Art Tour to Ireland and Italy

2013       Co-led Student 2-week Art tour to Paris and Amsterdam
2008       Co-led Student 6-week Art tour to London
2005       Co-led Student 2-week Art tour to London and Paris 

2003-2017       John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR. Associate Professor of Visual Arts, During my career at John Brown I taught the following classes: 

  • Graphic Design I, II, III, and IV

  • Figure Drawing I and II

  • Drawing I and II

  • Illustration I, II, and III

  • Senior Project

  • Senior Portfolio

  • Mixed Media

  • Fine Art Studio I, and II

  • Senior Capstone Exhibition

2001-2003      Colorado State University, Adjunct Faculty in Graphic Design
1999-2000     Colorado State University, Graduate Assistant

  • Intro to Drawing

  • Intro to Figure drawing

1999-2000   Dallas Art Institute, Instructor 

  • Color Theory

  • Intro to Design

  • Life Drawing III

  • Graphic Design

1979   University of Arkansas, Graduate Assistant 

  • Intro to Drawing

  • Basic Fine Arts for Non-Majors

1991-2000         Art Director, Group Publishing, Loveland, CO
                           Responsible for the design of Group Magazine, and Vital Ministry Magazine.
1990-91              Art Director, The Promotion Network, Dallas TX. Clients included: 

  • Frito Lay

  • Pizza Hut

  • KFC

  • Cinnabon

  • Host International

  • Mrs. Field Cookies

  • Nathans’ Hot Dogs

1987-89      Art Director, Killion McCabe, and Associates, Dallas, TX. Responsible for the design                      of Kids! Magazine, a Moody Monthly publication. 
1986-87      Art Director, Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX. Responsible for the design of military                          trade show displays. 
1981-91      Freelance Illustrator, Clients included: 

Artwork for Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles

  • Dallas Opera

  • Carlton Cards

  • Tabor Cards and Gifts

  • Focus on the Family

  • Moody Bible Institute

  • Mansion on Turtle Creek

  • Hotel Bel-Air

  • Dennys

  • Neiman Marcus

1980-81       Art Director, Teledyne Merla, Garland, TX. Responsible for all collateral material and trade show displays. 


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