Sue Benner Artist

 Sue Benner, with   Body Parts 3:     Cuffed. 

Sue Benner, with Body Parts 3: Cuffed. 

With an artist’s eye, I see the world through a scientific lens.

Biography

   Seminiferous Tubule,  dye on silk, quilted,    1980

Seminiferous Tubule, dye on silk, quilted, 1980

While pursuing a degree in molecular biology and a master's in biomedical illustration, Sue Benner created her vision of the microscopic universe in painted and quilted textile constructions. Her early work propelled her to become a studio artist in 1980, working primarily in the medium that later became known as the Art Quilt.

An innovator in her field, Benner creates complex dyed and painted textiles combined with recycled fabrics to form collaged fields of pattern, color, and beauty. Her work is shown world-wide in galleries, US embassies and museums including the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, National Quilt Museum, Neville Public Museum and the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art.

Her quilts have been juried into Quilt National eight times, recently winning the Most Innovative Use of the Medium award.  She served as a juror in 2009.

A respected educator, she lectures and teaches workshops nationally and internationally in the areas of surface design, textile collage, fused quilt construction and artistic inspiration. She is well known for her communications skills and her ability to bring her knowledge of design and technique to the classroom experience.

Living in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, J. Craig Jett, Benner works in her studio custom-built in the backyard of their family home.  They have two grown sons, Kellan and Calder Jett, who were the muses for many of her early series.

Although she has lived in Texas for over 40 years, part of her heart resides still in her home state of Wisconsin.

 Benner with iron, an essential tool in her studio!

Benner with iron, an essential tool in her studio!

Statement

My love affair with fabric began with my first memories of the clothes my mother, Joanne Hagene Benner, made me.  Uncannily, I can recall the exact hue, fiber content and weave. In the ensuing years, my mother taught me to sew, carefully and creatively. 

My father, Milt Benner, always had a pencil in his hand or behind his ear, drawing on napkins in restaurants and painting on the weekends. I now recognize how creativity was imbedded in everything he did. I have kept my maiden name in his artistic honor and memory.

While in college and immersed in the subjects of calculus, organic chemistry and cellular biology, I was continually drawn to the visual. I saw pattern everywhere: math problems danced in a dimensional space, organic molecules were drawn in structural diagrams, and biological cells stacked themselves in lovely arrays.  When forced to satisfy a few humanities credits, I took an art history course that changed the direction of my life dramatically.  Surface design, drawing, painting and more art classes followed.

My education in molecular biology and biomedical illustration still figures in my work with a deep sense of structure and organizing principles. "Form follows function," and the resulting form is usually beautiful in its solution.

My experiments continue in my studio.  I revel in the simple act of placing one fabric next to another.  It’s a good way to begin, and the work continues.

 


Resume

Education:

University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, M.A. in Biomedical Communications: Biomedical Illustration, 1978-1980, 1984
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, Art Studies, 1977-1978  
University of Wisconsin – Madison, Honors Program B.S. in Molecular Biology, 1977, Phi Beta Kappa, 1976, 1977, UW-Madison
Communications Award, 1977, Honors Program Grant, 1977, Phi Beta Kappa Grant, 1977
Oshkosh West High School, 1973, Valedictorian

 

 

Solo Exhibitions

Visions Art Museum, San Diego, California. 

2017Sue Benner: Through the Grid, Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA

2015Sue Benner: Circling the Square, Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, TX

2012Sue Benner: Walking Through Time, ArtQuilt Gallery NYC, NY 

2011Paint and Stitch: Art Quilts, European Patchwork Carrefour, Ste.-Marie-aux-Mines, France

2007Sue Benner, Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2006Sue Benner: New Work, Jane Sauer Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2004Sue Benner: Festival of Quilts Featured Artist, Birmingham, England

2003 – Sue Benner: New Work, Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2003 – Sue Benner: Fresh Color, Fine Line Designs Gallery, Ephraim, WI

2002Sue Benner, Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2001 – Sue Benner, Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2001 – Sue Benner: Homeland, Fine Line Designs Gallery, Ephraim, WI

2000Sue Benner: New Show, Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

1994Sue Benner Quilts: A Vibrant Journal, Museum of the American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, KY

1994Sue Benner Quilts: A Vibrant Journal, Lucy Berman Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

1993Sue Benner Quilts: A Vibrant Journal, Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, WI

1992New Quilts: Post-Partum Impressions, Lucy Berman Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

 

 

Group Exhibitions

Benner in front of Material Matters banner,announcing exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art, 2008. See more Cellular Structures under Circles & Cells.
 

2017

Quilt National ’17, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH; juried, Most Innovative Use of Medium Award 
Through Our Hands: A Portrait, Festival of Quilts 2017; Birmingham, UK; invitational
Masterworks: Abstracts and Geometrics, Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Traveling Exhibition
Fiber Abstractions, North Lake Community College, Dallas, TX; invitational
A Celebration of Color, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, TX; invitational 

2016

The Jury is In, Visions Art Museum, San Diego CA; invitational
Flower Power, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Dayton, OH; juried
Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Vientiane, Laos

2015

Pushing the Surface, Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, Coshocton, OH; invitational
Art Quilts, Georgetown Art Center, Georgetown, TX; invitational
The Liberated Quilt, Bilston Gallery, Birmingham, England UK; invitational
20/20: Traditional Roots, Contemporary Art, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA; invitational 

2014

Quilts: The New Geometry, Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, Dallas, TX; curator. Read more about Quilts: The New Geometry.
Focus on Fiber, Katie Gingrass Gallery, Milwaukee, WI; invitational
Quilt (R)evolution: An Art Quilt Retrospective, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Art Quilts from the John M. Walsh III Collection, Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, TX 

2013

Expanding the Collection: Recent Acquisitions, International Quilt Study Center, Lincoln, NE
Unexpected, Ross Art Museum, Delaware, OH
Pushing the Surface, JH Museum, Coshocton, OH 

2012

Contemporary Visions of Surface Design: Textile as Painting/Painting as Textile, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Selections from the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection, Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA
Faculty Exhibition, North Country Studio Workshops, Bennington College, Bennington, VT
Exhibit IV, Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Door County, WI; four person exhibition

2011

Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Vientiane, Laos
Sense of Adventure, International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX
Pushing the Surface, Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, Coshocton, OH
Happiness: Quilted Expressions, Riffe Gallery, Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH
Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today, 1986-2011, International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX
2010Art Quilts Contemporary: From the Collection of Jack M. Walsh, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Alegre Retreat Exhibition, Gateway Canyons, CO
Invitational Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Fifth Dimension, Katie Gingrass Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
Cream of the Cloth:  Quilts from the Marbaum Collection of Hilary and Marvin Fletcher, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA

2009

The Quilted Surface V, Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH
RE-USE: Quilts Gone Green, The Works Gallery, Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, Newark, OH
Reservoir: Jack M. Walsh III Collects, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA
Quilt National 2009, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH; as juror
Baylor Contemporary Quilt Invitational, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Full-Spectrum: Natural Fibers, Quilts & the Textile Arts, University Art Museum, Binghamton, NY 

2008

Material Matters:  Quiltmaking in the 21st Century, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

Structure, Surface and Expression, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, NC
New Beginnings: Quilts by Texas Quilt Artists, Irving Arts Center, Irving, TX
The Marbaum Collection: 25 Years of Contemporary Quilts, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH 

2007

Pieced Together: Historic Quilts and Contemporary Fiber Arts, Reese-Peters House, Lancaster, OH
Give and Take: Education and the Quiltmaker, Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, University of Nebraska

2007

Give and Take: Education and the Quiltmaker, Riffe Gallery, Ohio Arts Council
Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection, Visions Art Quilt Gallery, San Diego, CA

2006

SAQA: the Creative Force Then, International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX
For the Office, Katie Gingrass Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
Art Quilts, Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center, Kerrville, TX
Exhibit IV, Fine Line Designs Gallery, Door County, Ephraim, WI; three person exhibition
EXPOSED: Contemporary Art Quilts, Noho Gallery, New York, NY
Explorations II, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH 

2005

Quilt National ’05, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
The Art of Crafts in America, Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts, Chautauqua, NY
Art Quilt XII, Alegre Retreat, Santa Fe, NM

2004

Art in Embassies Exhibition, United States Embassy Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 
The Edge of Color, Marie Park Private Dealer, Dallas, TX; two person exhibition
Top Ten, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Duncan-McAshan Gallery, Ingram, TX
10th Annual Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Art for the Office, Katie Gingrass Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
Art Quilt XI, Alegre Retreat, Santa Fe, NM
Explorations, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH

2003

Quilt National ’03, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Art Quilts Now, Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, WI
Explorations, Wesserling Textile Museum, Mulhouse, France
Fabric Constructions, Leedy-Voulkos Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2002

8th Annual Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Katie Gingrass Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2001

Quilt National ’01, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Inspirations, Improvisations, Interpretations, Quilt & Art, Mülheim am Main, and Kloster Irsee, Germany
7th Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts, Museum of the American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, KY

2000

6th Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Lucky Tomato Pincushion Project, Linda Schwartz Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; group project
Silk and Paint, Marie Park, private dealer, Dallas, TX; two person exhibition

1999

Abstract Connections, Art and Cultures Gallery, Alverno College, Milwaukee WI; three person exhibition
5th Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Pushing the Surface, Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, Coshocton, OH
Lucky Tomato Pincushion Project, Lake Farmpark, Kirtland, OH; group project

1998

The 5th Quilt Nihon Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan (and tour); Judge Tadanobu Seto Prize
Visions: Quilt Expressions, Museum of San Diego History, San Diego, CA
Transformed: Textiles as an Expressive Medium, Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa
4th Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
More Than Surface, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX

1997

Quilt National '97, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Up in the Air: UFO Quilt Invitational 1997, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM
Material Instincts, Empire Quilters' Guild, New York, NY

1996

Visions: QuiltArt, Museum of San Diego History, San Diego, CA
American Quilter's Society Twelfth Annual Show, Paducah, KY
Patterns and Paint, Marie Park, Private Dealer, Dallas, TX; two person exhibition
Invitational Contemporary Quilt Exhibition, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX

1995

Quilt National '95, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Memphis Studio Quilt Invitational, Kurts Bingham Gallery at Rivercenter, Memphis, TN
Fabric Concerns: The Quilt Renewed, Del Rio Council for the Arts, Del Rio, Texas
State of Texas: State of the Art Quilt, American/International Quilt Association, Houston, TX
Fabric Concerns: The Quilt Renewed, Museums of the Big Bend, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX

1994

Visions: Quilts, Layers of Excellence, Museum of San Diego History
Quilts Now, Oklahoma City Art Museum
American Quilter's Society Tenth Annual Show, Paducah, KY; Second Place Award, Group Quilt

1993

Quilt National '93, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
Crafts National 27, Zoller Gallery, Penn State University
Fourth Annual National Juried Quilt Show, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX
Dallas Quilt Celebration '93, The Quilter’s Guild of Dallas, TX; First Place, Masters Division, Judge’s Award    

(Exhibition listings for 1978-1992 available upon request)

 

 

Commissions – Selected

2017 
Home of Your Packers, Green Bay Packers Collection, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI     
Where It Counts, Green Bay Packers Collection, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

2016
Willow Creek, View to the South #1 and #2, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota

2015
Palo Duro Canyon:  Fortress Cliff, BSNF Railways, Ft. Worth, TX
Marsh #20: Grand River Road, Memorial Quilt, Frist Baptist Church, Ixonica, WI

2014
View from Grand River Road, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

2013
View from County Road D, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Marsh Detail:  Pumpkinseed Creek #1 and View from Wiouwash Trail, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

2009
Ministerial Stoles for the Reverend Dr. Laurel Hallman

2007
Wisconsin Wetlands II: River Bend, John M. Walsh III, Martinsville, NJ

 Benner on reconnaissance trip to Palo Duro Canyon.

Benner on reconnaissance trip to Palo Duro Canyon.

2005
Walking Through Time, private collector, Dallas, TX

2004
Wisconsin Wetlands: Poygan Marsh, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI

2002
Reflective Landscape II, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

2001
Pulpit Parament, First Presbyterian Church, Dallas TX

  Palo Duro Canyon: Fortress Cliff,  detail. Read how this commission came to be and see how Benner went from   photo to sketch to finished art.

Palo Duro Canyon: Fortress Cliff, detail.
Read how this commission came to be and see how Benner went from photo to sketch to finished art.

1999
Centennial: Circles Squared, Curved Space
, First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX
Communion Tablecloth, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, TX

1998
Sink or Swim Trio
, Jackson-Shaw Company, Dallas, TX
Metal Cloth Quilt, Jackson-Shaw Company, Dallas, TX

1997
School of Thought, Granbury Properties, Dallas, TX

1995
Arboretum Series, Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA

1992
History Quilt, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, TX

1990
Acoustic Panels: Dyed and Woven, Project Manager, Sammons Center for the Arts, Dallas, TX

 

 

Articles and Works Published

1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and
     Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern
     and Art Quilts
Adventures in Design: the Ultimate Guide
American Craft
American Quilter Magazine
America's Quilts
Art in Embassies Exhibition Catalog U.S. Embassy, Vientiane, Laos
Art in Embassies Exhibition Catalog, U.S. Embassy, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
The Art of Quilting, DVD
The Art Quilt
The Art Quilt Collection: Designs & Inspiration from Around the World
Art Quilt Collector Magazine
Art Quilt Quarterly
Art/Quilt Magazine
The Art of Quilting
Art Quilting Studio Magazine
Art Quilts: A Celebration
Art Quilts International: Abstract & Geometric.
The Athens News
Award Winning Works of the 5th Quilt Nihon Exhibition
Backart: Flip Side
Bach, Casals & the Six Suites for Cello Solo: Volume 3
The Best Contemporary Quilts: Quilt National 2001
Biomedical Communications
Buyer’s Guide, International Quilt Market
Color: The Quilter's Guide
Color and Composition for the Creative Quilter
Colour in Art Quilts
Color and Composition for the Creative Quilter
Color:  The Quilter’s Guide
Connecting Art to Stitch
The Columbus Dispatch (online)
Contemporary Quilt Art: An Introduction and Guide
Contemporary Quilts: Quilt National, 1997
Dallas Morning News
Dallas Observer
Dallas Symphony Chorus 25th Anniversary Poster
Dernieres Nouvelles D’Alsace
Diverse Voices of Women
Green Bay Packers Collection: A Showcase of Work from the Collection at Lambeau Field
Fabric Gardens: An International Exhibition of Quilts
Fabric Trends Magazine
The Festival of Quilts Guide
Fiberarts Design Book
Fiberarts Magazine
The Healing Arts
Indiana University Press Catalog 2008
Launching the Imagination: A Guide to Two-Dimensional Design, 4th edition
Launching the Imagination: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic Design, 4th edition
Les Nouvelles: Patchwork et Creation Textile
Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today, 1986-2011

Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine
Magic Patch Magazine
Material Matters: Quiltmaking in the 21st Century
New Quilts: Interpretations and Innovations, 
The New Quilt 2, Quilt National ’93 Catalog
New Woman Magazine
New Zealand Quilter
On Wisconsin Magazine
Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts
Parkway Magazine
Patchwork Quilt Mania Magazine
Pioneering Quilt Artists, 1960-1980: a New Direction in American Art
Popular Patchwork
Portfolio 12: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 16: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 17: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 18: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 19: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 20: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 21: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 22: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 23: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Portfolio 24: The Art Quilt Sourcebook, SAQA
Quilt & Art Exhibition Catalog
Quilt Mania Magazine
Quilt National ’89 Catalog
Quilt National ‘95: Contemporary Designs in Fabric
Quilt National 2005: The Best of Contemporary Quilts
Quilt National 2009: The Best of Contemporary Quilts
Quilt National 2017: The Best of Contemporary Quilts
The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide
The Quilter’s Color Club: Secrets of Value, Temperature & Special Effect
Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine:  10th Anniversary Issue
Quilting Arts Magazine
Quilting International
Quilting Today
Quilts: Hand Crafted Treasures, 2010 Calendar
Quilts: The Alliance for American Quilts, 2007 Calendar
SAQA: The Creative Force
SAQA Journal
Sense of Adventure
Skinny Quilts & Table Runners II: 15 Designs from Celebrated Quilters
Surface Design Journal
Systems of Psychotherapy
Texas Tea and Travel
Through Our Hands, online magazine
Visions: QuiltArt
Visions:  Quilt Expressions
Visions: Quilts of a New Decade
Visions: Quilts, Layers of Excellence
Weaving New Rhythms Diary 2003
Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, DVD

(Detailed bibliography available upon request)