“This system is working” – an exhibit by Christian Benefiel

McDaniel College's Department of Art and Art History presents “This system is working,” an exhibit by Christian Benefiel, August 29 through September 27 in The Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall.  An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 6:00 p.m.

Of the exhibit, Benefiel says, “This is from a body of work that are formed from interconnected construction of elements that rely on each other for strength, structure and support.  The shape and system reflect the nature of domestic relationships, cultural norms, as well as the vast hidden system of global and universal forces influencing me and us – weather, commerce, the dynamics of gravity and time in the broader universe, etc.  I am particularly interested with this work in the complex fragility in social structure which is often assumed to be solid by design or implementation.  This work serves as a self-describing metaphor, where I am both the system and an inter-connected element contained within encapsulating and increasingly larger units and networks that make up my reality.  In this reality there is an undeniable influence of fortune, luck and/or ignorance that is held against probability, permanence and consequence.  The temporary nature of an individual's time with the work, set against a part of larger whole, correlates to the persistence and imperfection of memory and recalled interpretation.  The pieces are in a state of collapse; they have a defined lifespan, and each subsequent installation is an interpretation or variation of the previous structure.”

Christian Benefiel is a sculptor who works in material, installation, and extended objects.  His work addresses systems and relationships as they relate to inter-connectivity and causality.  He has shown nationally and internationally and is in collections and public installations throughout the United States.  He has received The Roth Endowment Award, MSAC lndividual Artist Grant, William J Fulbright Post Graduate Research Grant, the Oliver Award, and Hamiltonian Fellowship among others awards.  He has done artist residencies with the Pirkkala Sculpture, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and Jackson County Green Energy Park, The Finnish Academy of Fine Art, as well as traditional art spaces such as Hamiltonian Artists and Vermont Studio Center.  He currently splits his time between teaching sculpture and drawing at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown WV, making, and exhibiting work.  He lives and works in western Maryland.

The Rice Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.  For more information on Benefiel, visit  For information and to confirm gallery hours, please call 410-857-2595. 

Friday, September 27 at 10:00am to 4:00pm

Peterson Hall, The Rice Gallery

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art, gallery, exhibit, artist, mixed media, ArtsExpress




Art & Art History
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