Local artists’ work is now on display at LCLC

LAUREL — Local talent will soon be on display at Laurel’s Community Learning Center.

Laurel Community Learning Center Board member Shellene Funk recently came up with the idea to showcase local talent by having display their work at the local library.

Funk began compiling a list of local artists, reached out to several of them, and had a great response. At this time, Funk plans to have each artist’s work featured approximately three months.

The first featured artist is Elizabeth Benson.

Benson’s preference is pencil, but also does water color and acrylic painting.

“I think it is beneficial to show how many talented people we have in our community. As a member of the library board, I think the library can be a place to encourage artists to showcase their work,” said Shellene Funk, mastermind behind the Laurel Community Learning Center’s (LCLC) Featured Artist display.

Funk has been an active board member for around two years and is constantly thinking of new ways to encourage community participation at the library.

While researching ideas for the LCLC, Funk came up with the idea of encouraging artists to bring in their art work.

“Pencils were readily available at an early age, and easy to take wherever you go,” says Benson, who  formed a passion for art as a young child.

Benson began entering her artwork into area contests. The first time she placed first was in sixth grade, at the State Fair. The theme of the drawing was Nebraska. Benson drew the state bird, flower, and other items reflecting the state. Benson grew up in Bennington.

People began to contact Benson to contract her to do portraits for them. She does a wide range of drawings; animals, tractors, plains, cowboys, and many more. The last few years Benson has sold her pictures at area vendor shows. She has done pictures as small as an 8x10 to larger ones such as 24x36.

Benson has an eye for detail, she prefers her drawings to have a realistic quality.  The portraits currently on display show Benson’s amazing talent and eye for detail, one will be in awe of how realistic her pictures are.  

Benson’s great grandma and great uncle both had artistic talent. A few of their framed artwork are in her home . Benson’s great grandma used oil paint and charcoal to paint landscapes.

Benson’s husband is Shannon Benson and teaches physical education at the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Middle School. The couple has three children; Shane, Hunter, and Peyton. Benson has noticed each of the children have artistic talent and enjoy doing it in their spare time.

Benson attended Wayne State College for Graphic Design and works at Giant Gear in this field. She enjoys her time of drawing as a way to de-stress and tries to set aside time every day to draw.

Benson’s art will be on display in the library for the quarter. Area community members are encouraged to stop in and see her realistic artwork.

Funk is hoping to expand this project to other area artists. If any local artist who would like to be featured please contact the library. 



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