Joan Benefiel is the new arts solutions coordinator for Salina Arts & Humanities.
Benefiel will oversee the Smoky Hill River Festival’s juried art display, demo artists, outside art installations and the Artwork Patron Application. She also will serve as the main liaison to the Neighborhood Artwork & Style Plan and its advisory committee, and will provide as a regional community art and visible arts source.
A native of Wichita, Benefiel most not too long ago lived and labored in New York Metropolis and in Brooklyn, N.Y. In the last 17 a long time, Benefiel’s perform as a sculptor has included commissions for the Vietnam Veteran’s War Monument in Eisenhower Condition Park in Extensive Island, N.Y., and to make a St. Ignatius Memorial for Fairfield College in Fairfield, Conn.
Her pieces have been involved in displays ranging from “Beyond Rodin: Present-day Figurative Sculpture Exhibition” for the Rye Arts Middle, to “The Showcase Collection of Tiny Works” at the Countrywide Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
“I in no way wished to be an artist who didn’t understand each phase,” reported Benefiel. “I wished to do it myself.”
At first self-taught, her instruction in dimensional structure and production commenced with Kansas Town sculptor Tom Corbin through her yrs at KU, then continued in various roles Benefiel held for far more than a ten years at Excalibur Bronze High-quality Artwork Foundry in New York Town.
In 2008, she and spouse, Jeremy Leichman, started out their possess firm, Figuration Studio, where by they developed their very own functions and offered style and design and fabrication expert services for other artists.
Just lately, Benefiel’s is effective have appeared in exhibitions in Palm Desert, Calif., Springfield, Mo., Colorado Springs, Colo., Knoxville, Tenn., Naples, Fla., Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other places. Her get the job done is at the moment highlighted in the El Paseo Community Artwork Sculpture Exhibition in Palm Desert, Calif., and in SculptureTour Salina-design and style displays in Gladstone and Springfield, Mo., and on the campus of Appalachian Condition College. Her operate has been showcased in two documentaries and in media including Fox Information, The New York Periods, and Christian Century.
Benefiel’s lifelong dedication to sculpture illustrates how deeply the medium resonates with her.
“It’s literal, but not restricting,” she reported. “I can communicate some thing essential to me although putting anything out there that other people can provide parts of them selves to. To have them practical experience a piece in the identical physical area in which I create it, is unique.”
Benefiel holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s reports from the University of Kansas and a MFA in figurative sculpture from the New York Academy of Artwork. She also has examined at the Artwork Learners League of New York, Parsons University of Layout, the Faculty of Visible Arts, and at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.
Her distinctive, hand-tinted, seemingly lit-from-in just resin sculpture series titled “Cast In Light” has been highlighted in several short term public-artwork installations close to the United States, such as spanning 5 blocks of Broadway down below Periods Square in NYC’s Manner District, at L.A. Stay at Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles, and in Rye City Park in Rye, N.Y. Inside of her broad range of sculptural work, Benefiel produced a two-section, 80-panel bronze bas-aid work depicting an historic railroad, as a focal factor of the lobby of the famous Helmsley Creating on Park Avenue, where by 1 of the railway stations was once situated.