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Patti Benjamin Is Drawn to “Beautiful Brokenness”

New Anderson Artists Guild member Patti Benjamin has lived on the go. Growing up with a dad in the Army and then marrying a man who had to relocate often for work, Benjamin has lived many different places. “I told our daughters we were in the witness protection program because we moved so much,” she joked.

Benjamin served four years in the Air Force herself. She was, she said, “a secretary in uniform. It wasn’t glamorous. I flew a desk.” But it was a good experience. “It got me out of the house, and I got to travel,” she said. It’s also where she met her husband.

Benjamin has had a lot of different jobs over the years, from bank teller to church secretary to jewelry store clerk to urgent care receptionist. “I had lots of two-year stints at jobs because we moved,” she said. Her most important job was staying home for 10 years to raise her daughters.

Her love of art has evolved over the years as a means of self-expression. The one constant is an affinity for what she calls “beautiful brokenness.” From wooden pallets, from an old barn door, from busted wood and broken pottery, she has crafted things of beauty. “I just see something old, and it strikes me, so I pick it out of the trash,” she said. “I like to take something beat up and bring it back to life.” Even when a recent storm shattered a table at her house, she gathered the broken glass to “redeem” it.

“I want my art to evoke laughter and joy and bring back some life because life is broken enough,” she said.


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