The Kennedy Center

Beth Zarden-Benson


East Troy, Wisconsin
Award of Excellence: $2,000
Age: 24
"My artwork and having bipolar disorder are simultaneously helping each other grow. My work focuses on the vastness of emotions, and the necessity to show emotions and not hide them inside."
Beth Zarden-Benson began her art experiences in childhood with a love for fiber art such as knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Her passion for working with her hands led Zarden-Benson to her current studies in metalsmithing. Zarden-Benson is drawn to the elemental virtues of metal, the physical and aesthetic properties of which can be achieved by hammering, heating, and chasing.
Zarden-Benson's recent works are "diary" pieces which reflect a trajectory of emotional states over a period of time. In Mixed Emotions, the artist created a set of spheres over the course of many months. Each sphere represents the emotion she was feeling most during that week's creative process. Working with metal provides Zarden-Benson with a neutral constant that counterbalances her emotional struggle, and through which she "attempts to understand and accept who I am."
Zarden-Benson is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.
Beth Zarden-Benson