Lynn Bensonwritings


I’ve always been intrigued with the wide view of things. The parts that make a whole. The systems, the integral relation of one thing to another. In our natural world, breath-taking complexities and forces balance and entangle with another until we find that we humans, we who thought we might control nature, are now caught in a dangerous web of our own making, only now rising to an understanding of the reality of nature’s true dominion and fragility.

For the last ten years my work has been focused on our fragile world waters. Vast waters, our sacred source, healing, playful, frightening and magical life support, circle the earth through subterranean, surface and atmospheric rivers, feeding into and rising from our oceans. In 2010 news reports of ocean acidification caught my attention and fed my solo exhibition, "Acid Wash: Playing with Consequences." Subsequently, I turned attention to the meandering lines where water meets land on the skin of our earth as seen from satellite view…our new version of landscape. Unrelenting news stories of specific water places drive me to respond. Where water in its many forms mingles with land and civilization I "frame" a just-right section of a mapped place and push toward abstraction and insinuated shapes. I employ fabric, oil on canvas, ink, pigment pencil on paper vellum, photography, printmaking, collage, installation, writing, and new mixed media forms in answer to my concern for our fragile places.

Ultimately I find myself tugged in opposing directions simultaneously. On the one hand there is the Poetry, the beauty, force and delicacy at once of water and land. On the other hand, the Politics, the continual feed of distressing news recording the man-made unhealth of our waters, and by implication, our planet and ourselves.

The balancing of Poetry and Politics feeds and challenges me and my work.


Lynn Benson was born near the ocean and defines locales in terms of water. Her home city is Kansas City where the Kansas and Missouri rivers meet before traveling east. World rivers and shorelines, aquifers and rain, rising water and chemical spills… the internet is a primary research tool in her midwest artist studio.

Benson's work has been shown in galleries across the mainland U.S., and in Hawaii. (aha!…Pacific Ocean!) An ArtsKC Inspiration Grant supported an exhibition of her project Waterplaces: 100 works on paper, later purchased by The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, for their permanent collection. A solo show at the museum, in the spring of 2018, and coordinating solo show at the Volland Store Gallery in Alma, Kansas, featured extended programming related to water.

Benson has been awarded artist residencies through the Escape to Create Artist Residency in Seaside, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico; The Tallgrass Artist Residency in the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie region of eastern Kansas; and The Studios of Key West Artist Residency. Her work is in permanent collections including: The Beach Museum of Art; and Capitol Federal Hall, The University of Kansas School of Business.

2019 finds her expanding a project which has been shown in three venues to date…stay tuned!