Beneke’s lecture will focus on messaging found in his exhibition “In Absence of Reason,” which runs Sept. 7-29 in the School’s Laura Mesaros Gallery.
In his artist statement, Beneke states, “When presented with the insurmountable, how do we respond? Do we mend, right wrongs, fix? Do we rationalize, turn our backs, look away? Or, do we find ways of holding things in place and make the unacceptable seem reasonable because of resistance to and fear of change?
“My work directly addresses global warming and while calling more broadly for mindfulness and conscious attention to the effects that our individual actions and inactions have upon the world. Our current climate change is the result of accumulation—accumulation of carbon and greenhouse gasses, of actions, of inactions, of passive disregard and concerted neglect. Do we choose to be defined by this problem that we have created, how we let it control us, or the strength with which we battle it? Will we simply hold it at bay or act aggressively to better our world?
“I speak as an observer of society, a witness to a crisis, and an active participant in this problem. I urge my viewers to take responsibility for how we are changing the world by changing behaviors and habits, by taking action.”
Beneke is a professor of art at The University of Akron Myers School of Art at in Akron, Ohio, and currently serves as the associate dean of academics of the graduate school.
The lecture will begin at 5 p.m. in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall, 200A, of the Creative Arts Center with a reception to follow. The event is free and open to the public.
The Mesaros Galleries are located in the lobby of the WVU Creative Arts Center and are open noon – 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.