May 5 – July 15, 2018
To see fully the majestic rolling land of the Flint Hills you’d best find a hilltop…
Imagine the pioneers when they crested a hill, and saw so many more hills ahead of them. For me, whether the Flint Hills of Kansas, or the Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India (a vast network of river delta, swamp and forest), there is a fascination with the view from even higher, where paths of water, in the form of creeks or rivers, cut through, or even prevail, against the land.
While this higher perspective misses many elegant and consequential details, the lines where water meets land have become a source of inspiration for much of my work.
I become a prospector scouting lines and shapes in satellite mapping and enjoy the “find” of unique design features on the skin of our earth. It’s better yet for this news junkie when a place which intrigues my design side meshes with one of the stories related to water issues that percolates into the day’s news — and that happens with increasing frequency. The extreme drought in 2012 in western Kansas very much influenced a recent project; and many other water issues worldwide inspire me to continue.
Employing a wide range of materials and techniques, I sometimes seek universalities. But when depicting specific places, with names and identities, where land and water meet, the conversation is more immediate, the reality of a situation is closer. I seek to acknowledge and celebrate the beauty and visual intrigue of a place even as the underlying story may need attention. That is true for the pieces in this show. These are specific places, regional and worldwide, varied in interpretation and concept, executed in oil on canvas on a larger scale than my previous work. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to stretch into this new work in such a supportive community.
Starting with being born near the ocean, then the airplane-view maps my mom drew for me when I was 3 years old while my dad was in Australia, to his overheard chemical engineer conversation about pollution in San Francisco Bay, and my mom’s gift of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and that burning Cuyahoga River in the late 60’s…it all makes sense that I should be doing exactly what I am doing!
– Lynn Benson
Lynn’s work has been shown in university, artist-run and commercial galleries from Hawaii to Brooklyn, NY. She has had 5 solo shows in the Kansas City region and has been awarded artist residencies in the Flint Hills of Kansas and in Seaside, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. She received an ArtsKC – Regional Art Council Inspiration Grant in support of her Waterplaces project consisting of 101 works on paper.
In 2016, Waterplaces was purchased by The Mirianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, for their permanent collection. It was recently unveiled within a solo show at the museum, “Water Stories by Lynn Benson,” (February 13- May 26).
www.lynnbenson.com / Instagram: @mlynnbenson, @thewaterplacesproject
At the Beach Museum of Art
Thursday, March 8, 5:30 pm
“Telling Water’s Story: Art, Science, and Narrative,”
Cynthia Barnett, author of Rain, Peter Dorhout, Vice President for Research at K-State, and Lynn Benson, artist
At the Volland Store Gallery
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1 pm
“Telling Water’s Story: Art, Science, and Narrative”
Cynthia Barnett, author of Rain, and Jeff Davidson, Watershed Specialist, K-State
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1 pm
May 19, 2018, 2 pm
“Rattlesnake Creek, the Mississippi River, and Kansas”
Heidi Mehl, David T. Beals III Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative, The Nature Conservancy
May 20, 2018, 2 pm
Curator’s talk by Aileen June Wang on “The Art of Lynn Benson”
June 2, 2018, 4 pm
Ekphrastic Poetry, Responding to Lynn Benson’s Art with poetry
Mary Pinard, Visiting Poet
Late afternoon light in the Flint Hills at Reece Ranch, 5:15-7:30 pm. Reservations
June 24, 2018, 2 pm
“Water in Kansas Past and Present”
Rex Buchanan, Director Emeritus, Kansas Geological Survey, presented by the Kansas Humanities Council
The exhibit and associated programming are made possible with the support of
Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission
National Endowment for the Arts
Volland Store Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit administered by
the Kansas Rural Communities Foundation
The Volland Store
24098 Volland Road, eight miles southwest of Alma, Kansas.
Open Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 pm and by appointment 785-499-3616.