North Central College - Naperville, IL

Alumnus offers advice to art students

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Benjamin Buchenot '05
Benjamin Buchenot '05

Feb. 23, 2011—Benjamin Buchenot, Class of 2005, spent a day at his alma mater sharing tips with art students about creating and marketing their art work.

Art students watched Buchenot demonstrate how he works with clay on a wheel and listened to him describe how he throws clay and uses tools to make walls. He also shared tips on how to clean up pieces more easily, and fielded questions from students on such topics as properly pricing and photographing pieces.

“I’m glad he came,” said Andrea Conteras, a junior majoring in Spanish education. “He pushes that you can become more creative with your work, and it can still function.”

During his six-hour visit that included several different classes, Buchenot advised students that they will grow as they craft more pieces. While creating a porcelain bowl on the wheel, he said, “The 100th one, that will be perfect. Don’t expect the 10th one to be perfect.”

As a North Central student, Buchenot was influenced by a visiting artist who spoke to one of his classes. That artist influenced his future, and Buchenot thought he could help current students in the same way.

The artist “opened my eyes,” Buchenot said. “He let me know that undergraduate school wasn’t enough … You need time between graduate school and undergraduate.”

Buchenot spent time between his undergraduate and graduate schooling developing his own style. He knows other graduate students who went straight from undergraduate to graduate school and regret it.

Buchenot started as a computer science major, but he realized how much he needed art after a year without it.

“The most important thing to do in undergraduate school is to discover what makes you happy,” he said. So, Buchenot became a double major in studio art and computer science. He graduated from North Central in 2005 and was named the Outstanding Major in Art that same year.

Buchenot is finishing his M.F.A. at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. His focus is in ceramics, though he has a strong background in drawing and two-dimensional design. To view Buchenot’s work, visit benjaminAB.com or benjaminab.blogspot.com.

02-23-2011