The Jamestown Arts Center will hold a virtual artist talk with Nick Benson on June 16 at 7:30 pm. Nick Benson is a Jamestown resident who specializes in the design and execution of one of a kind architectural and memorial lettering inscriptions in stone. For the past eight years Benson has been making a series of artistic works in contemplation of communication in the Information Age.
In his JAC Talk, Benson will discuss his ancient craft in the context of digital technology, mass production and consumption and philosophical questions about the nature of human interaction. Benson describes: “Mass media and the onslaught of information, that is not only accessible but often unavoidable, has left us wondering who we are and what we want of ourselves and our country. This can be seen so clearly today in racial conflict, economic inequality and even insurrection. I choose to use my age-old craft (a practice that is as old as humanity itself) as a symbol of human history, and I set it in conflict with the nature of digital information – information that often lasts for only a nano second.”
Benson began this practice at age fifteen with an apprenticeship alongside his father, John Benson, at the 316-year-old John Steven Shop. He has produced site specific typefaces for civic memorials including the National World War II Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC, the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC, the Louis I. Kahn, Four Freedoms Park inscriptions in New York City and the Eisenhower Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC. Benson received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 and a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship in 2007. In 2020, Benson was one of 10 artists chosen for the Outdoor Arts Experience exhibition in Jamestown, an Island-wide outdoor exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jamestown Arts Center.
“JAC Talk” is a regular program hosted by the Jamestown Arts Center to bring together artists, intellectuals, and creative minds of all kinds to share their stories with the Jamestown community and beyond.
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