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About Stephanie Benenson

Artist Bio

Stephanie Terelak Benenson graduated from Tulane University in 2004 and obtained a Masters in Art from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. Her master’s thesis, “Anchored in Place: Locational Identity and New Genre Public Art” helped her to acquire a 2017 RISD Graduate Studies Grant to launch her social practice art piece & future public art non-profit “Harbor Voices.” As a third generation Cape Ann artist working in the Boston area, Benenson celebrates diversity, local history, and the human need for connectivity to past, present, and future through explorations in community storytelling sessions. The storytelling sessions feed her community collaborative public art installations, which are visualizations of historic exchange and community connectivity around cultural heritage and immigration in harbor communities. This work has recently been shared at City Hall in Gloucester, MA and the Armory Show in New York City and through an artist-in-residence position at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA.


Artist Statement

As a third generation artist, I was raised painting en plein air on the harbors of Cape Ann and Boston. Even as a young child, I spent hours skipping stones and meeting people while my father made studies of working harbor paintings. Harbor Voices is a celebration of the diverse and hardworking communities that rely on harbor industries and tourism for survival. I believe that Art, particularly participatory projects, has the ability to bring people together and impact the future. Social collaboration and storytelling strengthen family and community bonds, creating resilience in our youth and increasing connectivity and social activism within diverse populations.