Bethany Benson grew up in Foxboro, Massachusetts and received her B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth under the guidance of Chris Gustin, Karon Doherty, and James Lawton. After her graduation from UMASS, she was employed by Sherle Wagner, Inc., a luxury hardware and bath accessory company, and was responsible for slip-casting and firing white stoneware sinks and small accessories.
In 2001, Bethany was invited to be a resident artist at Atlantic Beach Potters, now Atlantic Pottery Supply, in Atlantic Beach, Florida. While there she became involved in all facets of the business and truly began to appreciate the intricacies of a successful clay company thriving on the community also in support of the emerging ceramic artist.
Upon completing her residency in Florida, Bethany attended Bowling Green State University as a non-degree seeking student to work on her portfolio for graduate school, where she studied with John Balistreri and Steven Roberts. In the spring of 2004, she was accepted for graduate studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The artist received her M.F.A. in Ceramics in 2007 under the guidance of Harris Deller, Stephen Grimmer, and Pattie Chalmers. Bethany currently holds the position of Visiting Assistant Professor at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA.
Bethany’s work is derived from social interaction and pleasure; she employs utilitarian vessels as a means to invite the user to experience her work exploring senses other than sight. The intimate relationship the user must have with Bethany’s work develops beyond visual, incorporating taste, touch and scent. It is through the use of these senses that Bethany urges her audience to interact with her work, making her a part of ensuing social interaction.
An artist working in traditional craft media, it is Bethany’s wish that the visual and tactile responses of the participant be contemplated jointly, not as independent entities. As her work incorporates several senses, Bethany urges her audience to examine the formal, conceptual, and functional qualities of her work as entire work of art.