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Definition: ‘Serious’, lifelong devotion to being an artist

Benny Alba is an artist from Oakland, California via a long circuitous route from Ohio. She might be described as an artist version of Ina Coolbrith, and other writers from the Overland Monthly in the sense that she has pioneering pursuit of her craft, self-determination, and unwavering persistence living in Oakland.

Benny Alba shares here impressions of the weather at Louisburg College, North Carolina.
Benny Alba
'Awesome weather' work by Benny Alba
Benny Alba

We connected there via art groups and gallery shows. When her work arrives here in the east coast, it is worthy of note. In this instance, it is like a storm blowing in from the west.

Paintings by Benny Alba

Mon. 3/10/2014 - Fri. 4/18/2014
Opening Reception / Slide Lecture with Benny Alba
Mon. 3/10/2014 @ 7 pm

Benny Alba is an Oakland, California artist living in a hilly forest, working in the flatlands in the San Francisco Bay Area. Benny originally attended Kent State, majoring in English. After the political unrest there, she dropped out only to later attend the University of Michigan to earn a BA degree in Psychology. Descended from several generations of artists, her art lessons are ongoing at home, all the time.

Over the past twenty years Ms. Alba has shared her imagery in over 50 solo and over 100 group exhibitions in the western United States. She has been awarded numerous Awards and Commissions.

‘A lifetime of adventures and serendipity can inform the artists' drive. Originally my desire to create art related to Van Gogh's ink drawings, so full of energy and life, after seeing them in a solo show while in my teens. In my 20's I began painting -- as an abstract painter when abstract art had just won the battle to be recognized as a legitimate art form. Later, perhaps influenced by my college major, surreal art, and a growing understanding of the training of the brain via emotions -- symbolism was the focus. This deepened into a political statement series about Native American and European cultures intermingling in the United States. That series lasted a dozen years. Most recently, a drive trip from Oakland through Canada and into Alaska changed the theme. Powerful landscapes, dramatic skies and long vistas of land and water now power my work. What a long, strange trip it has been.’

‘I see greatness in storms. Art is a form of storytelling in which I can share these thoughts with the viewer. Storms fascinate me with their saturations of color, wind, and sound. Instead of fearing stormy weather, I am nurtured by it. This natural beauty is what I seek to share.’"

Benny Alba

Like many artists these days, we sometimes share our work on Facebook where we are friends. In the winter months, the weather often keeps us inside and looking out to see the weather.

"This Traveling Exhibition Series is displayed in the Edith C. Lumpkin Community Gallery which is located on the north side of the Seby B. Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC). Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. through Fri. For more information, such as possible weekend or evening tours of an exhibition, please call Will Hinton, Professor of Art, (919) 497-3238 or e-mail:"

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