Native to New York City, Suzanne Benton has shared her many-faceted art for over 30 years in 29 countries. A
trans-culturalist and feminist pioneer based in the States, her venues stretch from New York City to villages in remote
parts of Africa, India, and Nepal, and to philosophy and education portals from Calcutta to Cambridge. A former
Fulbright Scholar (India), and recipient of many grants, artist residencies and hostings by the cultural arm of US
Embassies, she's traveled worldwide since 1976, sharing her work in Bali, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada,
China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Morocco,
Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Beyond exhibiting widely
(150 solo shows and representation in museum and private collections worldwide), Benton is a highly recognized
metal mask maker and mask performance artist, printmaker, painter, lecturer, and workshop leader. Author of The
Art of Welded Sculpture and numerous articles, and listed in among others, Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in
American Art; and Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, Edited by Barbara Love.
Believing that the purpose of art is to explore humanity and that art comes alive as it relates to people's lives, my
art draws upon multicultural themes and engages participation. I consider my work as a bridge between cultures.
Drawn to diverse themes steeped in myth, ritual and archetype, the metier of metal sculptured masks has inspired me
to create art throughout the world, studying myths and masking and infusing my work with this rich material. As a
performance and a visual artist, my trans-cultural tales, myths and legends are portrayed through the steel and bronze
masks I've created in the States and abroad. I also teach people of all ages and backgrounds in school and community
settings to create their own masks and lead them into powerful and meaningful mask storytelling.
Beyond mask and metal, I've created 17 Secret Future Works, mixed media sculptures with locked interiors that
are opened at a set time in the future. The unseen, presented within the context of art is meant to prod our personal and
global hopes and expectations. Several have been opened on auspicious occasions. Others, created in India, Bangladesh,
Ireland, Kenya, Tanzania, and the States will open in the future. One such was opened in January 2011 prior to a ten
week art working journey to South Asia. They contain messages and or symbolic objects placed inside by people in
these many countries. Their messages address universal hopes, dreams and earned wisdom.
I also lead Secret Future Workshops, guiding participants in the creation of their own secret boxes. Through
guided imagery and journaling, workshop members unfurl and clarify their life stories that will shape their futures.
As a printmaker, my monoprints (one-of-a-kind prints) employ the collage technique, Chine colle (Chinese
glued). The collage papers are hand-made, pre-inked and hand-painted. Dimensional printing plates give a rich texture
to the prints. The images and collage papers are placed on the plate to fuse to the printmaking paper as the plate and
paper roll through the etching press. Images in these art works are culled from Indian and Turkish miniature painting;
South Asian Folk Art; Korean Lore and Legend; Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts; Medieval Manuscripts; The
Renaissance; Russian Icons; Greek Mythology; 19th Century Women Writers, Educators and Feminist Activists; Afro-
Americans; Native American history; and American Landscapes. And, there's more.
|Suzanne Benton . Sculptor . Mask Performer . Printmaker . Painter
Krishna, acrylic and pastel, 24x18 inches
Vishnu, welded steel, 10 x 6 5/8 x 4 inches
Suzanne Benton performing, Chitrangoda mask tale
|Ireland Secret Future Work
mixed media, 17 x 11 x 13 inches
Petals, monoprint with Chine collé, 8 ½ x 11 inches
Dancer, monoprint with Chine collé, 27 5/8 x19 5/8 inches
|Adisa, Portrait Box, encaustic, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches