“Fragments” 2019

Fragments #46, Nugget, 2019, archival pigment prints, 8.5″ x 8.5″

An ongoing series, “Fragments” are collage works derived from angled detail photos across the surface of several of my river paintings, causing shifts in perspectives. The collage and recombining process suggests the fraught complexities in our thinking that we have dominion over our natural world. For me it feels like I’m rearranging Earth. “Here’s a piece of river and over here is another river.” It’s playful while it has this undercurrent of serious stuff.

Fragments 47, Split, 2019, archival pigment prints, 9″x 8″

I’ve cut these prints along what, in the real world, is the river bank or riparian zone where water meets land. (All curvy edges in the Fragments series represent an actual place where water meets land in the world.) The broad light green pieces in the piece above are land in the Sundarbans, Bay of Bengal, where water is encroaching as seas rise.

Hormuz, 2019, archival pigment print, acrylic, Duralar, ink, colored pencil, 8″x 5.5″

Hormuz is a smashup from two series: Sidetrip, archival prints of detailed photos across my “skin of the earth” oil paintings; and Drops,* depicting actual places around the world where land meets water…in this case at the Strait of Hormuz in the Mideast

*Watch for “Drops” (“Drops in Petri Dishes”) as I continue to expand this collection into the hundreds. They have appeared within three exhibitions to date and are now, over time, becoming a diary of sorts of places in the world where water meets land and there is a story to tell. They are numbered and documented within an expanding list/catalog. More to come…..inquiries welcome.

The Studios of Key West Artist Residency

What a treat and an honor to be chosen for The Studios of Key West Artist in Residence program!!  This is so inspiring, giving we three artists who are here for a month time to experience the place and the culture, and to explore and expand our own work while here.  My words here will be brief…I’m soon catching a ferry to visit some dear friends north of here on the gulf coast, allowing me also to take a photo for a long-term project, to get out on the water, and to hear and see more about the recent Florida gulfcoast water issues!

This is the night view from my front porch after a day of teaching a workshop called “Mapping and Abstraction” at The Studios.  It was a great group of engaged and interested folks who learned a new technique and reminded me of my long-ago, satisfying art teaching days.


Walking to the Old Town Bakery I started watching these two who probably know each other quite well…

One of my goals while here was to cross-pollinate the materials and concepts which are central to my recent work. Image above is an initial “work” which feels like a sanctuary to me. In retrospect it was around the holiday season when I did this.

More below:


“Horizon Watch”
framed and available at

825 White Street, Key West!!

Small works in salon wall exhibition at Plug Projects

Heading into their 8th year as an artist run space in KC’s West Bottoms, PLUG Projects presented a Cocktail Reception to kick off “RUN RIOT,” their first ever salon wall featuring a very strong collection of works by 50 regional and national artists. And Boi Boy transformed the front room into a dazzling /’fyoo-CHer’/, all to kick off fund-raising for the coming year of programming.  I’m such a fan!!!

This rotating team of artists continues to enrich the KC arts scene and I’m rooting for them to continue for many years!

The Earth is Round, 2016, collaged archival prints, 5″ x 7″

Edge, 2016, Collaged archival pigment prints, 7″ x 7″

Thank you PLUG Projects…I’m thrilled to be a part of this!!

What a great match!..Travois KC and my recent paintings!

The River Herself (Kansas River at Deep Creek), Oil on canvas

“Travois is a mission-driven small business headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Since 1995, we have helped create affordable housing and economic developments with a value of more than $1.3 billion in American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.”

With an interest in water and water issues, Travois followed up on a tip from area photographer-of-artwork-extraordinaire E.G. Schempf and they contacted me… (Why yes, as a matter-of-fact I do have some work that you might be interested in!…May I stop by and see your space??)

And here we are. The space, the people, and the purpose are so inspiring!! They really like my work, and I’m thrilled to be here! The painting in the photo can be seen when you walk in, my other (nine) works are throughout the halls and the  open meeting/working/eating area in the back. (They have on-site child-care, a gorgeous outside deck, and a president who is running for Mayor!…Go Phil Glynn!) To the left in the photo is the early stage of installation by amazing featured artist Joseph Erb (Cherokee). His exhibition explores themes concerning the intersection between culture and water and celebrating the stories and struggles of the water through sculptural works and digital animation. Opening and reception for Joseph, Friday, September 7th, 6:00 – 8:00….and I’ll be there!

Travois KC, 310 W. 19th Terrace, Kansas City, MO.

Painting chosen for 2018 River Market Regional Exhibition…

The Kansas City Artists Coalition’s RIVER MARKET REGIONAL EXHIBITION, “Sounds of the City” is KCAC’s 35th Annual Juried Competition, limited to artists in six contiguous states. Juror for this years competition, Saralyn Reece Hardy, is Marilyn Stokstad Director, Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas.

I’m very happy and honored to be included alongside so many accomplished and thoughtful artists and their work…

Foreground: my piece, “…Kansas City here I come” (Missouri River Headwaters), oil on canvas, 36″ x 36.”   Background: works by Jane Booth and Stephen Proski.

Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte, Kansas City, Missouri 64105; show runs July 13 – August 10, 2018


The Volland Store: my show, the art, the people

Thanks to The Volland Store for hosting “River Compositions: Paintings by Lynn Benson” as well as speaker presentations related to water throughout the course of this exhibition, in collaboration with the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University

May 5 — July 15, 2018.

From left, above: Cynthia Barnett, journalist and author of “Rain”; Aileen June Wang, curator, Beach Museum of Art; Lynn Benson, artist. Cynthia spoke at both The Beach and The Volland Store.

From left: Liz Seaton, curator, Beach Museum of Art; Lynn Benson, artist; Patty Reece, visionary director head honcho “store keeper” of this terrific Flint Hills region community gathering space called The Volland Store. She does it with a host of enthusiastic supporters and volunteers!

Curator Aileen June Wang, presented “The Art of Lynn Benson”  while inviting lots of engaging discussion. The first of my paintings that she focused on was Sundarbans (below). The region is at the Bay of Bengal encompassing parts of India and Bangadesh, a fertile mangrove forest, the largest in the world.

My artist talk on opening weekend…Riverpuzzle #2 behind me completed! Below is a detail shot of the above installation. Every curvy edge represents a place where water meets land in our real world.

From left:  San Joaquin, The River Herself, and Diamond Springs, all 2018, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″

Untitled (Missouri Headwaters), 2018, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″

Prairie creek river (Konza, McDowell Creek, Kaw), 2018, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″

To see these and more in person:

The Volland Store is open Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 5. Located mid-way between Alma and Alta Vista off of Old K-10, in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

…A treasure!

Preparing for “River Compositions by Lynn Benson”

“River Compositions by Lynn Benson” runs from May 5 through July 15, 2018, at The Volland Store, an elegantly restored general store, now an art gallery, community space, and future residency site near Alma, Kansas, a creek and train tracks!

These brick walls are original! You can see where beams supported a prior second floor, now removed so that light from the upper windows soften and expand the space.

After the paintings were hung I began an installation on the big white wall. Scaffolding readied, I covered long tables with my “Fragments,” archival printed imagery which starts as angled detail photos of paintings. I’ve cut the photos along the curvy boundaries where water meets land, creating distinct lines and shapes, all pointing back to real places in the world.

Some Fragments are from previous paintings, some are from photographs of new oil paintings completed for this show.

Riverpuzzle #2 begins. This might be the night that owner Patty Reece and I worked late!

Did I mention that The Volland Store also has a beautiful loft/apartment where you can spend the night?

(“The Loft at The Volland Store”)



Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art presents “Water Stories by Lynn Benson”

It was a bright warm day when I delivered final artwork for “Water Stories by Lynn Benson” to The Beach Museum of Art in Manhattan, Kansas. You can imagine my excitement when Registrar, Sarah Price, showed me this banner, installed in advance of opening day, February 13th. (Show closes Saturday, May 26th)

Both the banner image above, featuring Ganges Delta, and the image below, Kansas City 1951, are beautifully adapted within publicity materials for the exhibition.

You’ll see individual Drops in Petri Dishes (as above) cleverly displayed alongside Waterplaces, a suite of 101 drawings on paper vellum, being unveiled for the first time in their new home at the Beach. The photos don’t convey the gorgeous deep blue background color which, along with the expert lighting, make the works pop!

Second graders learning about water and more from Education Director, Katherine Schlageck. This makes me happy!!

More expertise from the exhibit design staff! Total surprise!

Thanks to Museum Director, Linda Duke, and to Curator, Aileen Wang, for developing an extended calendar (below) including exciting collaborative events with The Volland Store Gallery where a second solo show goes up May 5, 2018, providing a month of overlap through May. Please note details below…


Telling Water’s Story: Art, Science, and Narrative, featuring Cynthia Barnett, Peter Dorhout, and Lynn Benson  Thursday, March 8, 2018, 5:30 pm.    Presentation by journalist and author Cynthia Barnett, followed by a conversation on how the visual arts, scientific practice, and journalism intersect in tackling environmental challenges. Panelists include K-State Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry Peter Dorhout and 2018 Gift Print artist Lynn Benson. Cynthia Barnett’s most recent book is award-winning “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.” Moderated by Beach Museum of Art Director Linda Duke.

Artist Talk by Lynn Benson Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m   Artist Lynn Benson will share details about making the 2018 Beach Museum of Art Gift Print and other recent projects. Light refreshments served.

AT THE VOLLAND STORE GALLERY, 24098 Volland Road, Alma, Kansas:

Telling Water’s Story: Art, Science and Narrative Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1 p.m.   Presentation by journalist and author Cynthia Barnett, followed by a conversation with Jeff Davidson, K-State watershed specialist….Sign up for a pre-event lunch with the speakers on the “Happenings” page at http://thevollandstore.com/, or call 785-499-3616.

River Compositions by Lynn Benson  May 5 – July 15, 2018   Exhibition of new works by Lynn Benson. Open Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-5 p.m., and by appointment. OPENING RECEPTION: Sunday, May 6; Artist will speak at 2:00 p.m.

Curator’s Talk by Aileen June Wang on the art of Lynn Benson  May 20, 2018, 2 p.m.

Come experience these beautiful and smart venues in the Flint Hills!!

“Dancing on the Table” at the Beach Museum of Art

The Friends of the Beach Museum of Art, at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, commissions a limited-edition print by a recognized Kansas artist for sale to Friends and the public each year, starting in 1934…

A hearty thank you to curator Aileen June Wang for inviting me to be the 2018 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Gift Print Artist!

Herein are a few notes and photos from this delightful adventure:

I worked in collaboration with thoughtful and inspiring master printer Aaron Shipps at Bedrock Art Editions in the Crossroads arts district of Kansas City.

Here, I am sharing with Aaron my concept for the first time, sure of the basic design, unsure of how to get there. I had long worked in relief printing and some etchings, but never lithography. There was one element of which we were sure, and that was that there would be actual gold leaf where the “feet” of the wavy vertical lines were in contact with the implied water below.

At one stage I drew a gradated layer which ultimately would be a subtle nuance, bringing a creamier tone to the lower gold/water section and to the lower left hand portion of the print. The drawn lines were to extend beyond the edge of the template. We shifted the upper horizon and sky lines shown here into a higher, broader, smoother effect.

Many sessions later this is one of the final mock-ups. You can see the gold leaf, the “gold chunks” tissue strip which weaves through the cut-out “legs.” The paper layer showing through the “legs” in the large off-white lower section feature three separate applied colors blending into each other and angled from upper left to lower right through Aaron’s expertise!

The sky section has four separate papers above the very dark rich green litho ink stretching across the print. I then hand-applied colored pencil on top of that dark green on each print, employing as many as 5 colors on some, always leaving the original darker color to show at the bottom, up against the snappier inked horizon colors.

Leftover legs from the table dancers………………

Lined up and ready to sign.

There (were) ten available for purchase through The Beach. For information about purchasing a gift print, call 785-532-7718 or go to beach.k-state.edu.

It’s official when you see it framed and hanging on the wall!!  (The Gift Print Artist gets a SOLO SHOW!!)

“Wabaunsee Waters” at The Bank Artspace

The Bank Artspace in Matfield Green, Kansas, is hosting the Tallgrass Artist Residency Exhibition through November 19th, 2017 *

Late July, 2017:  Driving west from Kansas City and beyond Topeka the terrain begins to heave, the horizon gets broader and, depending on the season, the colors are not so much of leaves on trees, but of the grasses bending in the wind and the oh so broad sky… But water? The Tallgrass Artist Residency allowed me time and place to search for water, my continuing topic of fascination and of concern, and that search led me to CREEKS!  By the billions, we see them in pastures, fields, and city parks, passing under our roads, fed by springs and rainfall, nurturing plants and wildlife, feeding into our rivers, and determining much about our drinking water.

Mill Creek. Spring Creek. Hendricks Creek. Fox Creek. McDowell Creek. Steak Bake Creek. Maps of Wabaunsee County in particular provided evidence of inspiring, undulating creek paths and confluences adaptable, ultimately, to three works on paper vellum…Here are two !!:

Wabaunsee Waters I and Wabaunsee Waters IIIWabaunseeWatersI_mid_canvWabaunseeWatersIII_mid_canv

Wabaunsee Waters, 2017, Ink, pencil on paper vellum, 24″ x 11″

*You will see my new Wabaunsee Waters pieces alongside the amazing work of fellow residency artists (visual, performing, video, etc.!)…closing date for exhibition may change, depending on the weather. Contact gallery if in doubt.