The Jamestown Arts Center (JAC) will hold a virtual artist talk with Nick Benson on June 16 at 7:30 pm. Nick Benson is a Jamestown resident who specializes in the design and execution of one of a kind architectural and memorial lettering inscriptions in stone. For the past eight years Benson has been making a series of artistic works in contemplation of communication in the Information Age.

In his JAC Talk, Benson will discuss his ancient craft in the context of digital technology, mass production and consumption and philosophical questions about the nature of human interaction. Benson describes: “Mass media and the onslaught of information, that is not only accessible but often unavoidable, has left us wondering who we are and what we want of ourselves and our country. This can be seen so clearly today in racial conflict, economic inequality and even insurrection. I choose to use my age-old craft (a practice that is as old as humanity itself) as a symbol of human history, and I set it in conflict with the nature of digital information – information that often lasts for only a nano second.”

Benson began this practice at age fifteen with an apprenticeship alongside his father, John Benson, at the 316-year-old John Steven Shop. He has produced site specific typefaces for civic memorials including the National World War II Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC, the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC, the Louis I. Kahn, Four Freedoms Park inscriptions in New York City and the Eisenhower Memorial inscriptions in Washington, DC. Benson received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 and a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship in 2007. In 2020, Benson was one of 10 artists chosen for the Outdoor Arts Experience exhibition in Jamestown, an Island-wide outdoor exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jamestown Arts Center.  

“JAC Talk” is a regular program hosted by the Jamestown Arts Center to bring together artists, intellectuals, and creative minds of all kinds to share their stories with the Jamestown community and beyond. 

WHO: Jamestown Arts Center 

WHAT: A virtual JAC Talk with Nick Benson, 30 minute presentation followed by audience Q&A

WHEN: Wednesday, June 16, 7:30–8:30 pm on Zoom

DETAILS: Free; donations greatly appreciated. RSVP required to receive Zoom link

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.