Alumna’s Artwork Sculpted by Memories
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008
William Smith alumna Kate Benson ’01 will have a piece of her art featured in Boston Young Contemporaries, an exhibition that allows MFA and post-baccalaureate candidates from the New England-area to display and promote their work.
The featured piece is a sculpture called “Remains.” One of Benson’s newer pieces, it was influenced significantly by her childhood memories.
“Both the exteriors and interiors of my work mimic my experiences of growing up in a house that was built in the 18th century in rural Massachusetts, summers at the beach in Maine and the multiple family homes and urban dwellings of Boston," she explains. "Working with the miniature scale started with the idea of childhood memory and the often crumbling or disjointed structures refer to the fading of such memories.”
Benson earned minors in both aesthetics and studio art while at HWS, but she had no idea how art would shape her life after graduation. “I had the amazing opportunity to cast one of my art pieces in bronze my senior year. It was a unique experience to have had as an undergraduate student, especially at a small school,” recounts Benson. Immediately following graduation, she did a stint as an events coordinator with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
"This was an amazing experience that grew directly out of my work with Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski on the Genocide Lecture Series at HWS,” Benson explains. “However, as much as I loved the work and the amazing people, I missed working creatively and decided to return to school for sculpture.”
This desire led her to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for a post-baccalaureate program, and subsequently to Boston University for her MFA. Though she began as a figurative artist, her work has since shifted its focus to sculpture.
“I make three-dimensional miniature house-like structures that have interior views within them,” says Benson, who plans to move into a new studio in August. “The pieces started as simple wooden boxes with interior views and now they have grown to more sculptural pieces with multiple views and growing heights.”
Boston Young Contemporaries runs from July 18 to August 22 at 808 Gallery in Boston, Mass.
For more information, please visit http://bostonyoungcontemporaries.com. To view Benson’s works, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/krbenson.