About Maureen Bennett

I’m inspired by nature; holding time in the present to all the effects of the natural world over decades, if not hundreds of years. When I draw branches or paint trees, or photograph my woods, I want to breathe life back into them with a line or a stroke or a unexpected composition. I am always exploring new techniques and bring a desire to have unexpected “chance” experiences with my work.

I created the global traveling art project known as “Peace by Piece” involving thousands of participants creating canvases and writings to express personal statements about peace. I’ve been awarded numerous grants to support the use of art as a transformative force for social change. I design and teach creativity workshops in areas of expression about education, earth awareness, nonviolence, wellness and peace.

 

 

 



Artist Statement

My well-being is inextricably woven into my love of nature. My concern for the earth and my desire to create during this uncertain time is the focus of this work. Self-quarantining which is on-going due to the pandemic has inspired my mandalas with urgency and intention to share with others. All the work is inspired by my backyard and woods in northern NJ. The process comes from combining photography of nature in situ with my drawings, paintings and mixed media. Then I make archival prints which I hand-color. The details draw me in with a constant micro/macro shift of place. Whether the patterns are extreme or sublime, the mandalas give pause for unity and balance. I am grateful for the spaces that are both grounding and ephemeral where I go to create, fortify and center.


Exhibitions 

Solo Exhibitions

  • Faces That Transcend, Solo Exhibition, Leonard J. Hansen Art Gallery of Englewood Public Library, Englewood, NJ, June 2016
  • Nature Observed, Solo Exhibition, Edna Kawulitzki Art Gallery of Tenafly Public Library, Tenafly, NJ, August-September 2015
  • Transcendent Faces, Solo Exhibition, Borghi Fine Art Gallery, Englewood, NJ, May 2011

Group Exhibitions

  • Drawn From Life 2, Upstream Gallery, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY, August 2020
  • Monochrome 2020 Online Art Exhibition, THIRD PLACE, J Mane Gallery, July 2020
  • Monmouth Museum Juried Photography Exhibition, Lincroft, NJ, September 2019
  • Inside Small Show, Stable Gallery, Ridgewood, NJ, August 2019
  • The Big Painting Show, Belmar Art Center, Belmar, NJ, July 2019
  • The Nature Show, Belskie Museum of Art & Science, Closter, NJ, September 2017
  • Art & Soul, Dress For Success Hudson County: Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ, May 2016
  • New Jersey Small Works Show, Mikhail Zakin Gallery, Demarest, NJ, 2016, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2002, 2000
  • ArtSplash 2015, Rockaway Artists Alliance, Queens, NY, September 2015
  • “Face It” The Face in Contemporary Art, OnSite: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, June 2015
  • The Art of Healing, Englewood Hospital & Medical & TASCO, Englewood, NJ, June-October 2014
  • Nature Intertwined, Vanguard Surgical Center Art Exhibition, Maywood, NJ, March 2014
  • Blank Canvas Benefit, Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, 2012
  • Small Works Show, Boltax Gallery, Shelter Island, NY, 2011
  • Small Works Border Walls Show, Boltax Gallery, Shelter Island, NY, 2008

Achievements

  • Susan K. Black Foundation Grant, CO, 2018-19
  • Artist Grant and Residency, Vermont Studio Center, September 2013
  • Circle of Mercy Award, NYC, 2008
  • Susan K. Black Foundation Grant, CO, 2006
  • Northern Valley Educational Foundation 7 Towns Grant, NJ, 2005
  • Bronx Council on the Arts Grant, Bronx Outreach Project, NYC, 2005
  • Northern Valley Educational Foundation Mini-Grant, NJ, 2004
  • Bronx Council on the Arts Grant, Bronx Outreach Project, NYC, 2004
  • The Center for Arts Education New York PAAP Grant, NYC, 2003

Film / TV

  • Mandala Peace Project, Susan K. Black Foundation Grant, Mercy Center, South Bronx, NY, 2019
  • PBS Sesame Street, Art Consultant: Lookalike Productions, 2010
  • ‘Let It Out’, Documentary film premiered at Beijing Olympics, Interviewee: Lookalike Productions, 2008
  • ‘Emmanuel’s Gift’, Documentary film, Creative Consultant: Lookalike Productions, 2005
  • WXEL Public Television, Peace By Piece and Saint Andrew’s School: South Florida Today, 2004
  • ABC-TV Good Morning America: 10 part series on Organic Gardening, 1995

Artist Interview