Looking Out / Looking In
2021 Member's Exhibition



Amy Benfer

Amy Benfer is a mixed-media artist whose work flows between still two-dimensional works of collage, drawing, and photography, three-dimensional works of artist books and assemblage pieces while experimenting with moving digital images with audio in installation and paper arts.

Litmus Test: A Cultural Portrait

During a time of social unrest and polarity, I began looking at what I want from the community I live in (for me and for my children), the culture I want to be a part of and to support for the future. This cultural portrait identifies 10 aspects for a more genial environment –  those I want to focus on nurturing. The ten aspects are: Progress, Equity, Animal Rights, Creativity, Truth, Love, Balance, Mother Earth, Community, and Hopefulness. A litmus test can measure where my community is as a whole – helping identify areas I need to actively engage in.

13 x 15 x 4 inches
Mixed materials including a repurposed wooden frame, plastic test tubes, and maps


Throughout the Covid pandemic, there has been a sense of confinement, of being frozen within your own space and thoughts. Whether physical, mental or both, this state of being has led to a lot of introspection – not unlike the experiences of Mary Ellen Mark, Karen Folger Jacobs and the women of Ward 81 in the seventies. The act of peeping through the peephole to see illuminated, isolated images or distorted, overlapped images serve to mimic, for me, the sense of isolation and loss of hope experienced recently.

Book: 3.75 x 5 x 1 inches and Viewing Tube: 4 x 4 x 13 inches
Mixed materials with acetate, electrical tape, peephole with lightbulb, abstracted images from Mary Ellen Mark's work on Ward 81