Pamela Benham studied painting in New York City at the Art Students’ League under a Ford Foundation Grant, and graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a BFA. She then studied in Paris at the Ecolé des Beaux-Arts with Pierre Carron. Other influential teachers were Robert Beverly Hale, Wolf Kahn, Dory Ashton, Paul Resika, Leland Bell and Stephen Posen. She is a recipient of an Adolph Gottlieb Grant, an individual grant from ARTISTS SPACE, NYC, and Artist-in-Residencies at: Skowhegan School in Maine, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Parson’s Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, and Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Benham has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries including the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. She has had over twenty solo exhibitions in galleries in New York City including the Miller, Susan Schreiber and Jayne Baum Gallery. Some of her recent 2016 group exhibitions include: the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts, and the SFA University Galleries in Texas. Benham has now established her painting studio in Santa Barbara, California.
About her current painting, she reveals: I paint now without needing to know where I’m going. I begin with no plan, no sketches, no preconception. I look at the colors laid out on my palettes and feel an inclination toward one, a leaning, an attraction – and it begins. A mark is made, and the next in relation to the first, and so forth and so on.
This method is both quiet and fervent, creative and destructive. I apply layers and wipe them off until I am moved into that intuitive nonverbal flow. In this state, I work from a vocabulary honed from years of painting from nature and studying others’ works. Color and tone, line and shape, edges and paint, thick and thin form compositions in 2D and 3D space. And then when the painting’s all done, like Agnes Martin, I ask my brain, ‘Well – what do you think?’
Charlene Broudy, born in 1952, grew up in California with year-long interludes in Australia. In the 70’s, she traveled, studied and painted in Europe, spending 3 years in London in the lively design environment of The Architectural Association School of Architecture and earning a degree in Art & Design. She returned to California and freelanced as a graphic designer in San Francisco and Santa Barbara.
For the next 2 decades, Charlene continued developing as a multi-faceted artist, designing fabrics, logos, brochures, advertising and books. She worked on designs for Architect Sherrill Broudy, the creator of Forms & Surfaces Inc., an international architectural products company headquartered in Santa Barbara. She married Sherrill in 1989. Together they created a unique, award winning resort on 40 tropical acres overlooking the Central Valley of Costa Rica, where guests are immersed in nature, art and design. Xandari Resort & Spa opened in 1996 and a second resort, Xandari by the Pacific, opened in 2007.
Charlene created hundreds of works of art in her studio at Xandari Resort for both resorts – paintings for all the villas and main buildings, mosaic walls and sculptures for outdoor areas, plus tapestries (see www.xandari.com). Xandari was selected by Condé Nast Traveler in their list of the “Fifteen Best Resort Hotels in Central and South America,” second on the list after The Four Seasons Uruguay. When they sold their resort properties in 2012, over 150 works of art by Charlene were included and continue to be an integral part of the guests’ experience at both resorts. In 2012, Charlene and her late husband, Sherrill Broudy, designed a contemporary home and art studio on a ranch in the rural Upper Valley of Ojai, which is now her full-time residence.
In 2015, Charlene established GraySpace Gallery in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone to showcase contemporary abstract art, including her own work.