Exhibition, auction mark celebration of Judith Ann Benedict's artwork


August 2, 2017

SUNY Oswego's Tyler Art Gallery has embarked on a celebration of the life and work of the late art faculty member Judith Ann Benedict with an exhibition through Sept. 17 and a live auction Aug. 19 to raise funds for a scholarship in her name.

The free public reception for "Judith Ann Benedict: An Illustrated life" will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19; the auction will run from 3 to 5 p.m. The art department is conducting a pre-auction sale, and also plans to podcast the auction, with email bidding available at art@oswego.edu.

Benedict, who died a year ago, had a prolific illustration career that spanned over 50 years. The publication of a children's book she illustrated, "When Dawn Stole the Dark," was a highlight of her career.

In addition to working as an illustrator, Benedict taught illustration at SUNY Oswego for over 20 years. The exhibition honors her legacy and the impact she had on multiple generations of students, while establishing the Judith Ann Benedict Scholarship Fund to carry that legacy forward.

The opening reception also will feature a book sale and a "labyrinth walk." For her master's thesis, Benedict created a 40- by 40-foot canvas labyrinth modeled after the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France. She set it up many times over the years as a walking meditation event to share in the community.

The Auburn Citizen quoted Benedict in a 2005 article: "The labyrinth is meant to quiet the mind and soothe the spirit. One path in and one path out so that the mind is quieted and, when that happens, the heart can be open."

'Impressive career'

Amy Bartell, assistant director of Tyler Art Gallery, said there are more than 200 examples of Benedict's work in the sale and auction. She said pricing is set so that anyone can own a piece and assist the scholarship fund with the purchase. The late illustrator's work appeared in greeting cards, piano books, posters, sketches and promotional materials, as well as children's books.

"I knew Jude for 30 years. I admired her greatly," Bartell said. "We worked together at publishing companies. I was able to be part of her gigantic and impressive career."

Benedict passionately pursued her work with students at SUNY Oswego and other aspiring illustrators, Bartell said. "She went far beyond the requirements of an instructor and became a mentor to many people who studied and worked with her."

For a digital catalog of works in the auction, email Cynthia Clabough at cynthia.clabough@oswego.edu.

Gallery visitors may view "Judith Ann Benedict: An Illustrated Life" from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Aug. 26. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays from Aug. 29 through Sept. 17.

'Illustrated life' -- Michael Flanagan (left), director of SUNY Oswego's Tyler Art Gallery, works with gallery intern Angelo Andreula, a senior art history major (center) and gallery assistant and master's degree candidate Suzanne Beason to install an exhibition celebrating the work of the late art department faculty member Judith Ann Benedict. At far left is the cover of one of Benedict's career highlights, a children's book she illustrated titled "When Dawn Stole the Dark." The exhibition runs through Sept. 17, with a live auction Saturday, Aug. 19, during a free public reception.