May 13, 2018
Kristopher Benedict 'TREE STREETS'
International Art Exhibitions, 05/13/2018

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Kristopher Benedict 'TREE STREETS'
International Art Exhibitions, 05/13/2018

The paintings in Kristopher Benedict’s ‘Tree Streets’ take as their subject the suburban landscape and the artist’s subjective experience of it. Like the suburbs, the paintings can be characterized by constant transitions and shifting contexts. A feeling of precariousness and disconnectedness is pervasive in spite of friendly and familiar trappings.

‘Tree Streets’ presents imagery (often homes, telephone poles, tree lines, strolling ?gures) and abstract painting structures that are constructed and dismantled throughout the painting process. The sense of dislocation that Benedict creates in the work is an apt point of entry, and is seen both as a representation of physical spaces apart from others – the city’s outskirts, the public park, and the artist’s studio, for example – and as a psychological state. Another point of departure for the work is the genre of landscape painting, which often proposes a shared point of view between the viewer and the artist, and seeks to offer a welcoming expanse of illusionistic depth to be surveyed.

‘Tree Streets’ presents a vision of the landscape genre that does not provide this traditional entry point. Instead, these paintings look to create a dialogue between familiarity and uncertainty, as layers of paint simultaneously obscure what was previously legible and coalesce into new arrangements. ‘Tree Streets’ connects to the artist’s biography and ?nd him interpreting his newfound life in suburbs in a way that is both critical and empathetic. Benedict lives in Philadelphia and teaches painting at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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