Visual Arts – printmaking
Benjamin Merritt is a printmaker based in Minneapolis with a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. A former resident artist at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis & Spudnik Press in Chicago, his work affirms & celebrates the experience of chronic illness & disability through text & printmaking. Benjamin makes copperplate etchings, scraping away & altering the copper to show a long history of marks on the final print. This mark making is bodily & visceral, a translation of lived experience into inscription.
Benjamin’s prints use language to highlight the complexity & nuance of chronic illness, using metaphor to widen & enrich people’s understanding of chronic illness & disability outside of the norm. Rather than focusing on productivity, strength & a false progression from sick to healthy, he aims to create a dialogue that celebrates the embodiment of illness itself – in all of its complexity. At the Anderson Center, Benjamin experimented with plaster prints, in addition to other materials both within and outside of printmaking, to see how the physical nature of various mediums can also affect the languages we use. On August 14, Benajmin led a relief printing workshop outside the Granary Printmaking Studio at the Anderson Center.