Girl with Sunhat

Ms. Benas also exhibits her paintings and graphics. Her editorial cartoons were shown for 12 years at the International “Man & His World” Exhibit in Montreal and “Cartoon Exhibit” in Berlin. Her courtroom sketches, spanning eight years, were exhibited at the New York State Legislature in Albany. A retrospective show was held at Syracuse University. She also exhibited her illustrations at Borders and the Colonie Town Library, Albany Airport Gallery, Center Galleries, Laighton Galleries, and Arts Council of Orange County, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and eba Dance theatre, among other places. Her work has received numerous awards, including a NORI in 2002 and another in 2011 for the cover of Don’t Kiss on the Lips.

Two permanent collections now house many of Ms. Benas’ art.  Included in these samples are some of the over 530 Gazette editorial art and illustrations that are now part of the permanent collection at the Schenectady County Historical Society.  Ms Benas was honored to have the original drawings accepted there, which were done for the Schenectady Gazette and Sunday Gazette from 1986-2014. The  second permanent collection is in the Albany Institute of History & Art, where many of her original courtroom drawings will now reside.

Benas has also been the “go to” courtroom artist for the area media outlets.  She was privileged to be the only artist allowed in Federal Court recently.  No photographers, for newspapers or TV, were permitted in the Courthouse during the Trial.  Each day, the drawings had to be photographed outside the courthouse (on the street!) and were distributed among the various news media reporting on the trial.    Later, three of those drawings were used in a Special produced by ABC News. All of the courtroom art by Ms. Benas from 1978 to 2014 is now in the permanent collection of the Albany Institute of History & Art.   A selection of these sketches is on view in the New Collections Exhibition in 2017.

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