Bay College announces reception for artist Julie Renee Benda’s ‘Not Far from the Tree’ exhibition

A piece titled “Inheritance” by Julie Renee Benda.

ESCANABA — Bay College will have an opening reception, artist talk and demonstration for the exhibition “Not Far From the Tree” by artist Julie Renee Benda at 2 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Besse Gallery in Escanaba.

Julie Renee Benda originally is from the Keweenaw Peninsula. She earned her bachelor’s degree both in printmaking and biological studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2011, and her MFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2016.

Using text, image and sculpture, she works on projects that interact with and narrate shifting boundaries of land, water, people and plants. She now lives and works in Minneapolis.

“Influenced by my childhood in the rural Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, a landscape still dominated by forest, I draw from a vocabulary of plants and trees to highlight parallels I see between nature and culture,” Benda said. “Using text, image, and visual metaphor, I prod at the similarities and tensions between humans and the natural resources that sustain them, often returning to themes of dislocation, changes in habitat and power imbalances that shape access to land.”

The exhibition of her work can be viewed starting Monday through Oct. 25.