Member Spotlight: Lois Benedict

By: Corrie Habib

Lois has been a member of SEFAA since its early days. Her undergraduate degree is in Fine Arts and she worked in graphic design for a decade. She’s enthusiastically looking ahead to retirement and being able to pursue her artistic passions full time. Her “Pandemic Progress” exhibition truly has been a labor of love for Lois. Several years ago, she connected with three friends, the FAB-4, who met during SEFAA’s Lunchtime Fiber Open Studios. Each month, the group would learn and explore a new quilting or surface design technique. At the time, Lois was the primary caregiver to her elderly mother and had a long commute for work, so she didn’t have the opportunity to complete each month’s project. She remarked, “I had a lot of U.F.O.’s!” (UnFinished Objects). Fast forward to 2019: Lois’ mother had passed away and the pandemic made her job remote. “Time for those U.F.O.’s!” she said. Lois admitted that although she felt frustrated in the past from them being unfinished, she felt a huge sense of accomplishment in completing each square–she intentionally kept each project small so that she could finish each one. She waited for inspiration to move her to complete each piece and didn’t hesitate to cast one aside for later if it seemed challenging. She said, “I let each image take care of itself.” As a viewer of her collection, I remarked how interesting it is that an artist’s vision and color preferences can be cohesive and recognizable despite each part being done independently, to which she replied, “I guess you don’t realize your genre till you finish a bunch of stuff and hang it up and then there’s your style!”

Until October 14, Lois’ collection of fabric art squares–the beautiful and thought-provoking work, “Pandemic Progress” –is on exhibit at the SEFAA Center. She credits her lifelong passion for art and her creativity as some of the most important things that helped her through the hardest challenges of her life. “Sometimes you have to learn how to make yourself happy,” she said to me upon reflection of life events that were deeply emotional. She’s an enthusiastic supporter of SEFAA and raved about the open-studio time during Lunchtime Fiber. She plans to use upcoming Lunchtime Fiber meetings to back her most recent quilt since it’s difficult to have a large enough space at home to lay out all the fabric. Lois is still working on her stash of U.F.O.’s and she would love for more members to take advantage of the great resources available through SEFAA as well as the community of supportive, like-minded artists. She would be thrilled for another group of SEFAA members to make a FAB-4 inspired creative group! Don’t miss the chance to see Lois’ exhibition–come to Lunchtime Fiber from 10 am-2 pm Tuesday, 10/12, and/or Thursday, 10/14.

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