Artists Jess Benjamin and Susan Knight will present and discuss their work about water at the Lake McConaughy Visitors Center on Wednesday, July 6, at 6 p.m.
Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, and Omaha-based artists Jess Benjamin and Susan Knight will speak about their work this summer at the Lake McConaughy Visitors Center near Ogallala, Nebraska in the first Art at Cedar Point Speaker Series, produced in partnership with the Nebraska Water Center Foundation. Art at Cedar Point is a program of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Art and Art History in partnership with Cedar Point Biological Station.
Art at Cedar Point is an interdisciplinary program that brings artists and scientists together in the unique environment of western Nebraska. Now in its third year of artist residencies and undergraduate field courses at CPBS, Art at Cedar Point has been awarded funding from the Rural Futures Institute at UNL to support and develop those programs while expanding outreach into the surrounding community through a series of artist lectures and workshops, as well as an Art/Science Summer Camp for local kids.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Water Center Foundation will host children’s activities during both lectures so that families can attend together.
Jess Benjamin was raised in the irrigation ditches created by the Tri-County Canal Project, north of Cozad, NE. Her ceramic artwork focuses on water usage in the Great Plains area, Lake McConaughy, and the Ogallala Aquifer. She received her B.A from Hastings College and moved to Omaha in 2002 to apprentice at the Jun Kaneko Studio. She attended graduate school at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earning her M.F.A in 2008, and returned to Omaha to pursue research interests on water usage in the Great Plains. She has taught art part time at both the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University and is currently the Lied Art Gallery Director at Creighton University.
Benjamin has had solo exhibitions at the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, Hilmer Art Gallery, Fred Simon Gallery, and RNG Gallery in Omaha, and the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, and has been included in juried exhibits at the Josyln Art Museum in Omaha, the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, The Ceramics Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Kokomo Art Gallery in Kokomo, IN, and at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
She was a recipient of the 2013 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Grant and was a resident artist through Art at Cedar Point in 2014. www.jessbenjamin.com
Susan Knight is a painter, paper and installation artist based in Omaha, Nebraska. She was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and earned her BFA in art from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, also attending The University of Notre Dame, The Glassell School of Art, Houston, and The School of the Chicago Art Institute.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group shows and installations at the Bank of America Headquarters in Charlotte, NC, Johnson and Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ, and Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY, as well as in China, Ireland, Italy, and Canada. She has twice been featured in Sci Art in America Online Magazine and her work appears in the book Art Inspired by Science: Imagining The Natural Work, by Robert Louis Chianese.
Knight has received a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship and was chosen by The Colorado Art Ranch and The Nature Conservancy for a “Land/Water” residency at Carpenter Ranch in Hayden, CO as well as artist residencies at Ragdale, Lake Forest, Illinois in 1997 and 2009 and at the International School of Art, Montecastello di Vibio, Italy, in 1999.
This project is funded, in part, by a competitive award from the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.
A Park Entry Permit is required.