The Veronica A. Benning Trust donated an estimated $7,000 worth of supplies for art students at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) last month.
The donation ranged from oils, acrylics, brushes, pens with ink, and watercolor pastels to blank canvases, frames and mattes for the Visual Arts Department in FSW’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Ms. Benning had retired to Fort Myers years ago and passed away on December 24, 2013. She left behind many supplies and original pieces in her studio, some of which were sold and the rest donated to FSW for display. Ms. Benning’s trustee, Arlene R. Foreman, arranged the donation on her behalf.
“She was so versatile and painted in so many media and styles. It was incredible,” said Foreman.
“Veronica has a painting on permanent display at the Portland Museum of Art and she was included in a group exhibition at our Rauschenberg Gallery many years ago,” explained Dana Roes, Fine Arts Professor and Chair of the Humanities Department at FSW. “We are very grateful for her gift!”
Before moving to Fort Myers, Ms. Benning grew up in Greenwich, Conn. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art, and later a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
From 1973 to 1993 she painted and taught in Maine, where her work was exhibited in a number of galleries, including the Portland Museum of Art, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Maine College of Art, and at the University of Southern Maine.
Locally, her work appeared at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples, the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, the Arts Center in St. Petersburg, and FSW’s own Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in Fort Myers. Her pieces were often named Best of Show, featured in publications such as Gulfshore Life, and have been used as cover art for books.
Learn more about art programs at FSW by visiting www.fsw.edu/academics/finearts.
Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW debuted its intercollegiate athletics program in January 2016. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.