AN EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS
BY CAROL BENSON TO OPEN DECEMBER 8
AT WILLIAM CAMPBELL CONTEMPORARY ART
Outside In, an exhibition of new paintings, drawings, and sculpture by Fort Worth artist Carol Benson, will be on display December 8 through January 14 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Thursday, December 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition will include new works in oil on wood, metal, and paper, in addition to a three-dimensional wire construction—all centered on the artist’s storied themes of houses and the environment. Couched in familiar yet abstracted imagery, the new pieces reflect Benson’s lifelong connection to nature and how that connection impacts our sense of place—more specifically, home—on both personal and universal levels.
Benson’s paintings and drawings feature layers of multicolored shapes inspired by leaves from the post oak tree—a species known for its resilience and ability to adapt to drought and poor soil conditions. Here, the diaphanous foliage moves throughout the picture plane, loosely circumscribed by organic lines that give shape to the array of leaves. More precise lines that recall house constructions surround the broader compositions, segmenting the space and adding a sense of order to the raw current of shapes and colors.
Outside In represents a continuation of Benson’s ongoing exploration of the house as an icon of stability and protection, as well as a structure that becomes indicative of our inner selves. The work, which considers this arc of coexistence in free-flowing juxtapositions, has taken shape over the past several years, as the artist has become increasingly interested in how we depend on and interact with our surroundings—as well as our inherent responsibility toward conservation and stewardship of our resources.
“In this body of work, I have used the house image with layered leaves to represent living in and with nature,” says Benson, who spent her early years amid untouched landscapes, witnessing nature’s cycles firsthand. As an adult, she has continued to study and be nurtured by nature in all its manifestations.
Benson believes nature can feed the soul and bring peace and calm to our overwrought lives. She cites photographer Dewitt Jones, who said, “The banquet table is set and if you are not there, you miss the feast.” Benson feels strongly that we need to experience “the feast.” With advanced technology, we can study nature like never before. However, Benson asserts that taking time to exist in our environment without headsets, screens, and other gadgets allows us not to lose sight of the awe and wonder of our universe—concepts she puts forth in this newest body of work.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Carol Benson has worked and exhibited as an artist for four decades, in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, Little Rock, Jackson Hole, and Santa Fe, among other places. Recently, she had solo exhibitions at the Tyler Museum of Art and the Old Jail Art Center in Albany as part of its Cell Series. This fall, she was included in the first alumni exhibition at TCU, titled Home Base, and in House, Shelter, Home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Benson has degrees from Stephen F. Austin University and the University of North Texas, along with an MFA from TCU. She taught in public and private schools, as well as at TCU, the University of Texas at Arlington, and at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. She was a member of the board of trustees at the Modern for twenty years, and now serves on the council of Emergency Artists Service League (EASL).
Currently, Benson is leading a team of artists in a project that gauges citizen perceptions about public art projects in Fort Worth. Titled Coming Home: Community Conversations on Public Art, the temporary, mobile exhibit displays Benson’s houses (along with benches by Tom Diel) throughout Fort Worth, and gives visitors the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding future public art endeavors across the city.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.
William Campbell Contemporary Art
4925 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.