Joan Benefiel. Image courtesy SAH

Joan Benefiel is the new arts companies coordinator for Salina Arts & Humanities.

Benefiel will oversee the Smoky Hill River Festival’s juried art display, demo artists, outdoor artwork installations and the Artwork Patron Application. She also will provide as the most important liaison to the Neighborhood Art & Style Plan and its advisory committee, and will provide as a regional community art and visible arts source.

A indigenous of Wichita, Benefiel most recently lived and labored in New York City and in Brooklyn, N.Y. In the last 17 years, Benefiel’s work as a sculptor has included commissions for the Vietnam Veteran’s War Monument in Eisenhower Point out Park in Prolonged Island, N.Y., and to build a St. Ignatius Memorial for Fairfield College in Fairfield, Conn.

Her parts have been included in exhibits ranging from “Beyond Rodin: Modern day Figurative Sculpture Exhibition” for the Rye Arts Heart, to “The Showcase Selection of Smaller Works” at the National Museum of Girls in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

“I never wished to be an artist who didn’t comprehend each and every phase,” reported Benefiel. “I needed to do it myself.”

At first self-taught, her coaching in dimensional design and style and creation started with Kansas Metropolis sculptor Tom Corbin in the course of her decades at KU, then continued in several roles Benefiel held for more than a 10 years at Excalibur Bronze Great Artwork Foundry in New York Metropolis.

In 2008, she and partner, Jeremy Leichman, started off their own organization, Figuration Studio, in which they manufactured their possess works and provided design and style and fabrication products and services for other artists.

Not long ago, Benefiel’s performs have appeared in exhibitions in Palm Desert, Calif., Springfield, Mo., Colorado Springs, Colo., Knoxville, Tenn., Naples, Fla., Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other areas. Her work is at present highlighted in the El Paseo Public Art Sculpture Exhibition in Palm Desert, Calif., and in SculptureTour Salina-model exhibits in Gladstone and Springfield, Mo., and on the campus of Appalachian State College. Her perform has been showcased in two documentaries and in media together with Fox News, The New York Times, and Christian Century.

Benefiel’s lifelong commitment to sculpture illustrates how deeply the medium resonates with her.

“It’s literal, but not restricting,” she mentioned. “I can communicate a little something essential to me though placing some thing out there that other people can provide components of themselves to. To have them knowledge a piece in the same bodily room in which I develop it, is specific.”

Benefiel retains a bachelor’s diploma in women’s research from the College of Kansas and a MFA in figurative sculpture from the New York Academy of Art. She also has researched at the Art Pupils League of New York, Parsons Faculty of Style and design, the College of Visual Arts, and at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

Her distinctive, hand-tinted, seemingly lit-from-within just resin sculpture sequence titled “Cast In Light” has been highlighted in many momentary community-artwork installations around the United States, which include spanning five blocks of Broadway underneath Instances Sq. in NYC’s Manner District, at L.A. Live at Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles, and in Rye Town Park in Rye, N.Y. In her broad array of sculptural do the job, Benefiel made a two-aspect, 80-panel bronze bas-reduction get the job done depicting an historic railroad, as a focal ingredient of the foyer of the famed Helmsley Creating on Park Avenue, where by 1 of the railway stations was when situated.