Did you miss the Arts Benjamin Galleries?
The Galleries at Cleveland State University held “Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin” from Jan. 27 through March 25, displaying over forty pieces of work from Benjamin in an exhibition curated by Samantha Baskind.
The first part of the "Beyond Borders" gallery that you see after you turn your back from the red wall. (Credit: Jayla Salter)
Dr. Baskind, a distinguished Professor of Art History at Cleveland State, created an experience that received tremendous feedback from the community.
“There were really interesting reactions to the show," Baskind said. "People talked about wanting to identify their own different identities."
“Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin” was also featured on the cover of the arts section in Cleveland's "Plain Dealer" with a two-page spread and seven pictures. The national press also covered the exhibition.
“This show had over 1000 visitors, which makes the show our most viewed show of the fiscal year except for the People’s Art show,” Benjamin said.
A self-portrait of the artist Siona Benjamin in the "Beyond Borders" exhibition. (Credit: Jayla Salter)
Benjamin’s work captured the essence of CSU in the multiple identities she inhabits and which inform her work and position her in the broader community: South Asian, American, immigrant, woman and Jewish.
The exhibition coincided with Women’s History Month. Benjamin visited Cleveland and spoke at a number of venues, including at the Cleveland Hillel Foundation, where the audience included CSU and Case Western Reserve University students and educators.
Curator Baskind picked the theme and art pieces in designing the exhibition. She then wrote a narrative weaving the works together in what she called a “like a mini-book.” She praised her colleagues.
“Kendall Christian, the gallery director, was phenomenal, and his assistant Michelle Strong could not have been more wonderful because an exhibition cannot be installed or mounted without the help of others,” Baskind said.
A series of pieces by Siona Benjamin as part of the "Beyond Borders" exhibition. (Credit: Jayla Salter)
The exhibition “Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin” has now headed to the Skirball Museum in Cincinnati, where it will be on display until July 30. Baskind will also help hang pieces in Cincinnati and speak at the museum.
Baskind's next projects include an exhibition she is curating in Jerusalem in November for another American Jewish artist, Archie Rand.