Benjamin D. Rinehart
Artist Statement: Seeking approval and acceptance from others are ideas that everyone can relate to. Our ability to embrace differences in others heavily depends on a lifetime of external social and environmental influences. What we adopt into our lives is very much a subjective process. I am intrigued by what happens when comfortable or predictable ideologies are questioned. What physical or emotional response(s) does the viewer encounter?
My curiosity with the unique leaves me with an abundance of resources and ideas to explore. In each image, I strive to create visual and physical harmony through the narrative and form. The personal memories that I incorporate directly relate to family, relationships, children, and parenting. I attempt to raise questions about love, insecurities, social injustices, and values in contemporary society.
My process is often dictated by the story in each image, and is influenced by both positive and negative impressions. Physical and mental images are invoked to explore an autobiographical narrative through printmaking, book arts, and painting. I direct the viewer’s experience with tactile, visual, emotional, and psychological responses. Bitter and sweet colors bring the viewer into playful surroundings while dense layers emulate a thick skin suggesting strength and resilience.
I have gained a special perspective in regards to acceptance because of my unique family structure. Raising two children with my male counterpart has awarded me the opportunity to revisit my childhood, acknowledge my evolving identity, and determine what role I ultimately play in society. Through my family I now have a richer appreciation, perspective, and willingness to accept many new aspects of life.
Speaker Bio: Benjamin D. Rinehart specializes in multimedia images with a strong focus on printmaking, book constructions, painting and drawing. His socially charged work is a part of many public and private collections and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Ben received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Herron School of Art and a Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has taught in New York & New Jersey at Pratt Institute, Rutgers/Mason Gross School of the Arts, Long Island University, Fordham University, FIT, and Manhattan Graphics Center. He has continued to teach as a visiting artist at various institutions around the country like the Center for Book Arts, Pyramid Atlantic, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Brookfield Craft Center and the John Michael Kohler Art Center. Ben is the author of a book titled, “Creating Books & Boxes.” For examples of his work and teaching schedule visit www.benrinehart.com.
Sponsorship: The Paper Fox Printmaking Workshop & The Lawrence University Art & Art History Department