Oswego State is proud to call Tyler Hall home of the art, music and theatre programs that enable creativity to thrive within the newly renovated facilities. The Tyler Art Gallery, located on the middle level of Tyler Hall, showcases traveling art exhibitions, locally-produced loan exhibitions and the best work of Oswego State’s faculty and students. The Tyler Art Gallery is open to both students and the public, showcasing artwork on a professional level.
Running from August 19 through September 17, The Tyler Art Gallery is celebrating the life and work of Judith Ann Benedict, a former Oswego State illustration professor. Her teaching career lasted 20 years and during this time she was also a practicing illustrator. She built a legacy that would carry on throughout both Oswego State and the world in general.
Benedict died in 2016, but her artwork lives on to inspire and amaze both new and old art enthusiasts. The exhibit enabled students, faculty and the public to come together in her honor and admire the walls filled with her work.
Benedict created her work with an illustrative approach, carefully placing colors to coincide with extensive details. Her illustrations can be found in children’s books all over the country.
Her most recognized works are found in the children’s book “When Dawn Stole the Dark” written by Donna Joerg. Benedict’s illustrations were a perfect fit for the magic-oriented book about a girl facing her fears of the dark, simply because the content and coloring of each of the images are so expertly handled. She was also known for her eye-catching poster designs, many of which were on display in the exhibit.
Specific to Benedict, the opening reception of the exhibition was followed by a “labyrinth walk.” Her master’s thesis was a 40 by 40 foot painting resembling a Cathedral in France. She involved the community by setting it out in public. It was known as “relaxing” and “easing of the mind.”
There was an open auction of her work before the exhibition that will fund the upcoming Judith Ann Benedict Scholarship. These works of art for auction included posters, books, greeting cards and sketchbook pages drawn by Benedict. Not only does this auction honor Benedict with a scholarship in her name, but it also gave people the opportunity to have Benedict’s art in their possession to admire.
Jason Bensetler, an Oswego State freshman, stopped into Tyler Art Gallery and immediately wanted to purchase Benedict’s work to cover his dorm wall. “Her talent is amazing, all of these posters could light up a room,” said Benseter.
Judith Ann Benedict went above and beyond as an art professor. She created her work to intrigue and inspire everyone in its presence, and the exhibition of her work at Oswego State’s very own Tyler Art Gallery was an event to showcase this level of professional illustration. Her artwork is utterly amazing, and so is the legacy that she left behind.
Photo: Dori Gronich | The Oswegonian