Michael Arrigo

Painter based in Toledo, Ohio.  M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the Ohio State University.  Participation in many regional and national juried and invitational exhibitions.   Received G.C.A.C. Individual Artists Fellowship, and painting awards from The Columbus Museum of Art, The Maser Museum of Art and The Toledo Museum of Art.  Current President of the Toledo Federation of art Societies and National Portfolio Reviewer for Educational Testing Service, the non-profit consortium that assigns AP credit in studio art.  Former executive board member of the International Visual Literacy Association.  Arrigo has taught painting at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy and served for two years as director Young Artists at Work, a nationally recognized arts outreach program for young adults. Has a background in installation and site-specific art as well as painting.  Current research interests include investigating how images prefigure and shape personal identity, cultural narratives and mythic forms. Arrigo is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Coordinator of First Year Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Artist Statement

Most of my recent work began as simple interactions with my family.  I preserve some aspect of these interactions as photos, video or audio snippets and display them in ways that expose the meaning and strangeness immanent in commonplace objects and activities.   As an artist I think of myself as a “tinkerer”.  I go into the studio and take ideas, language, electronics—everything apart to see how it works.  I attempt to put these bits and pieces back together, creating artworks that reveal rather than conceal this messy process of experimentation in the hope that viewers will enter into the spirit of playfulness and shared discovery. The Boggle Project carries these themes of playfulness and experimentation forward.  In many respects the Boggle Project is a serendipitous enterprise, a series of simple experiments designed to test my skill at postnogstication, the rather common but non-the-less uncanny ability to foretell the past.  As unremarkable as this skill might sound, it is in fact quite handy.  Generally we call this competence “interpretation” using this linguistic ability to postdict  the past, thereby forecasting the present.  Prior to the saying (pre-dict), the past is a series of physical exigencies set in motion by more or less random events.  We narrate and analyze these incidents and occurrences molding them,  (fore-cast), providing them with meaning and giving shape to the present.  The Boggle Project is a reminder that the present is a fragile porcelain image that language sculpts from the raw clay of past experiences.