Mini Documentary by Elena Kindy
Scott Pennington | Two Minute Joys at Maryland Art Place was on view from January 18 – March 10, 2018
Scott Pennington is a Maryland born artist specializing in large-scale participatory installation and sculptural assemblage works. Drawing upon his background as a furniture and cabinet maker, Pennington utilizes woodworking and construction techniques to create colorful, detailed works of art that engage varied audiences and invigorate public spaces. Pennington’s work suggests a tangible, yet illusory reality that examines labor, consumer culture and the pursuit of simple pleasures and the construction of nostalgic human connections both genuine and fictitious.
“Growing up in a small Maryland town, the traveling carnival that came for a single week every summer was a welcome distraction for many families including my own. We would anticipate the sounds, sights, and smells of this miraculous event all year, attending the annual spectacle with an almost spiritual devotion. The social space that the gathering of rides, games, and attractions creates is a comforting yet surreal landscape that seems to strike at our innermost desires to be transported from normality.” – Pennington
Pennington’s work has been featured in public arts festivals across the country. Notable exhibitions include Artscape in Baltimore, Maryland (2008, 2010 and 2014), The Scottsdale Arts Festival in Arizona (2013), Parking Day in Arlington, Virginia, as well as the inaugural Light City Baltimore (2016). Pennington has also worked in partnership with numerous arts organizations for public or alternative space projects including Art on the Artbus in Arlington, VA, and with Napoleon Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.
The installation references carnival game play and takes advantage of a pre-existing stage at Maryland Art Place to accentuate the unattainability of ‘the prize’. The piece attempts to demonstrate that despite our attempts to ‘play the game’ be it in the world of business, love, financial gain or even art, so many of our actions, working toward our goals, are futile attempts. ‘The game’ merely exists as a stage for those already in positions of power to watch those ‘beneath them’ struggle through a distracting set of actions that will ultimately provide no meaningful reward.