Marla Benton – Artist Profile

Marla Benton (1)

Marla Benton

Marla Benton earned her education through the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, the Ontario College of Art and Design and Nipissing University.

From growing up in a small town, traveling to 41 different countries, building a home inside a pickup truck, enduring a six month journey on a motorcycle, roughing it in rustic cabins, and finally buying a house, Marla has gathered experiences and memories that she draws from. Through all her experiences, Marla has been exposed to many different materials. She found that clay the most complimentary medium, as she loves to be practical and fanciful at the same time.

Marla lives in Mahone Bay, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. She has a fabulous husband, a delightful daughter and two cats.

Marla Benton, celebrate daily!, 2015.
Earthenware, underglaze, glaze, wax candles,12 x 12 x 11″.
Image courtesy of artist.

able to see the magic
My work is colourful and humorous. Both sculptural and functional, my pieces are influenced by everyday adventures combined with nature and children. Nature has always been a part of my life. Playing outside in every season, staying active and gardening, all contribute to my creations. From little birds sitting in trees to tiny ladybugs and ants crawling along blades of grass, these images are found in my sculptural work and in the surface decoration of my functional pieces. Staying at home with my daughter, I take delight in daydreaming alongside her dolly tea parties, play kitchen feasts and fantastical outdoor adventures. Being able to see the magic and believe in her imagination, I have found my work has begun to emulate in the form of clay cupcakes, layered stacking cakes and fancy service ware.

combining two professions and passions
For me, the latest challenge has been finding a balance between raising my daughter, creating my own work and teaching. There is a constant juggle to please my family, my bank account and myself. I have learned to change. I have earned patience. And, I have discovered that efficiency and planning ahead are key in keeping a fine balance balancing.
Being trained as a public school teacher and an artist, the PAINTS program has been truly a success for me. I have been able to combine my two professions and passions. Being able to go into classrooms as an artist and teach what I love, without having to deal with the restraints of the school system, has been amazing!

magical and gratifying
VANS is a wonderful resource. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the PAINTS program and feel like there should be more funding for more projects! With art programs and specialized art teachers being cut from the public system, I am so pleased to be able to bring art into some classrooms and watch as the students thrive while they learn and create. It is magical and so gratifying to be a part of. Thank you PAINTS!

Marla Benton, Picnic, 2015.
Stoneware and earthenware, glazes, 9 x 9 x 6″.
Image courtesy of artist.

going forward
My daughter starts school in September. I am currently trying to wrap my head around what direction I am going and where I want to end up, as I will have more time to work. I have been applying for grants and dreaming up grand ideas for shows and installations. I am really excited about sinking my teeth in deeper and polishing a body of work. Right now, I am totally obsessed with making clay cakes and cupcakes!

Learn more about Marla Benton by visiting her website www.marlabenton.com.

Marla Benton, Chocolate, 2016.
Earthenware, underglazes, glaze, 12 x 12 x 9″.
Image courtesy of artist.

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