THE FLETCHER BENTON COLLECTION
International art and local history merged together in Jackson County in January 2013 with the dual exhibit of the work of sculptor Fletcher Benton hosted by the Lillian E. Jones Museum and the Southern Hills Art Council/Markay Cultural Arts Center.
This dual exhibit was an introduction to the work of Benton, an internationally acclaimed sculptor who was born in Jackson in 1931. The Jones Museum featured the 27 sculptural pieces and printed materials Benton gave to the museum for its permanent collection. The Markay featured 8-foot wall-mural photographs of Benton’s San Francisco studio that show his artistic process, loaned by the artist.
The exhibits focused on Benton’s work but also explained Benton’s background in Jackson County through reminisces of Benton, his friends and his classmates.
Barbara Summers, executive director of the Markay and the Southern Hills Arts Council said it was a delight to be a part of showcasing Benton. “This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to learn something of the 1949 Jackson High graduate whose talents have taken him to the very pinnacle of artistic success,’’ Summer said.
“This is a wonderful gift to our community from a gentleman who obviously enjoyed great success after leaving Jackson but never forgot his roots,” said Jackson Mayor Randy Heath. “This certainly enhances the perception of our community to have such a valuable collection from which people not only enjoy, but learn from as well.”