|Biography from Sharp Facets Gallery:|
|The following was adapted from a texxt by the artist's daughter Barbara Bennett-Parsons at www.eltonbennett.com:|
Elton Bennett's lifelong dream always was to be an artist.
He grew up in Hoquiam in the Grays Harbor region of the Washington
Coast, where mill work, fishing and dredging are common occupations,
and Bennett himself knew many years of firsthand experience at
them. The pursuit of art was not encouraged by the people around
Elton Bennett started and stopped more than once in his plans to be an
artist. For nearly 20 years, his only formal training in art
consisted of a single year at Washington State University at Pullman in
1927 when he was 17 years old.
In 1946, Bennett married Flora Broadie who encouraged him to persist
with his artistic goals when few other people did. And it was in
that same year that Bennett entered the Portland Art Museum School on
the G.I. bill.
But Bennett didn't enjoy the experience. He was considerably older than
his fellow students, and his artistic style, which never followed the
latest trends, was not appreciated. Discouraged with school and
the art scene, he left after two years and returned to work in the
trades. He was far from confident at this point that he could
support himself and his family as an artist.
But in 1956, Bennett had saved enough money to be able to give up his
other jobs, and devoted himself exclusively to his art work. In
less than three years, he was enjoying a satisfying career as a
practicing artist, doing what he wanted most to do, and making a good
living at it.
Elton Bennett chose silkscreen printing for his medium because it
allowed so many possibilities for manipulating compositions.
Bennett didn't like the idea of creating a work only one person might
see, or that could not be changed once 'completed.' Bennett would
always use a great number of screens and colors in infinite
combinations so that each finished serigraph was a unique work of art.
Elton Bennett serigraphs depict the Pacific Northwest coastal
environment and give glimpses of the working lives of the people the
artist knew and worked with all his life. These works have
steadily gained recognition over the years. The artist died
tragically in 1974 in an airplane crash.
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