Luther College presents Pat Benincasa's paintings, "Circle + Rust," on display through May 3 in the Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery of the Center for the Arts on the Luther campus.
Benincasa has 12 mixed-media paintings on display at Luther that focus on the industrialized cities of the American Rust Belt. She created her paintings from industrial materials and city maps, focusing on large painting of cities such as Detroit, Mich., Gary, Ind., Youngstown, Ohio, Akron, Ohio and Flint, Mich.
Benincasa attributes Martin Luther's quote, "To progress is always to begin again," from his Commentary on Romans, with providing a frame of reference for her exhibit. "Rust Belt cities are no longer identified with what they produce, so how do we move toward a positive civic identity? They are urban centers, rich in history and inventiveness that will 'begin again' because relationship between who we are as a people and the work we do defines quality of place."
The second part of Benincasa's exhibit is made from "recollections," small sheet metal paintings of individual mills, blast furnaces and factories that have been closed or demolished.
Benincasa has earned several awards for her work, including most recently being presented the Award of Excellence from the 2012 Spring/Summer American Juried Art Salon Artist in Residency Program at the Toronto School of Art. Two of her most notable commissions include "Redemption Window" for Hill-Murray Chapel in Maplewood, Minn., and "Moon Boat and Night Sky Glass" for the Ward Parkway Federal Building in Kansas City, Mo.
Benincasa earned a bachelor's degree at Michigan State University and a master's degree at Wayne State University. She has presented lectures at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, University of Minnesota School of Architecture and Hamline University.
In recent years, Benincasa has served as adjunct instructor of Orientation to Art and Design and 3D Foundations at the College of Visual Arts, Saint Paul; Summer International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Examiner as part of the Artist in Residency Program at the Toronto School of Art; facilitator of the College of Visual Arts Spring Orientation 3D Workshop and Co-Facilitator of College of the College of Visual Arts Fall Orientation 3D Workshop.