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Opening Preview of Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin

Date(s) - Thursday, June 16th
7:00 pm CDT - 9:00 pm CDT

Jewish Museum Milwaukee


The identity of Indian-American-Jewish artist Siona Benjamin is layered and multifaceted, just like her artwork.

Raised as a Jew and member of the Bene Israel community in a largely Hindu and Muslim Mumbai, she attended Catholic and Zoroastrian schools before moving to the US. Siona’s transcultural view has been shaped by diverse, complex experiences and is inspired by history and mythology, as illustrated by the captivating characters and symbolism which populate her pieces.

Immigration, gender, the concept of ‘home’, and the role of art in social change are explored through vibrantly hued paintings blending tradition with innovation and navigating feelings of inclusion and exclusion. Further reflecting current issues, Benjamin’s work considers and challenges perceptions about culture, race and religion, and in crossing boundaries and building bridges, she asks viewers to do the same.

Celebrate the opening of Beyond Borders with Siona Benjamin who will be present to offer opening remarks. Benjamin will address both the artistic and socio-political motivations for her work. As someone who has described herself as being both ‘everywhere and nowhere,’ her work has a remarkable capacity to speak universally. Light refreshments and a live dance performance will make the evening extra special.

– 7:00 PM – Dessert and wine reception
– 7:30 PM – Welcome by JMM executive director Patti Sherman-Cisler
– 7:35 PM – Presentation by award-winning artist Siona Benjamin
– 8:00 PM – Traditional Indian dance performed by Aditi Narayan
– 8:30 PM – Exhibit tour

Museum Members $10 | Nonmembers $18
REGISTER HERE by Monday, June 13

If you are unable to join us, we welcome donations to support our programming.

Sponsors: Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Anonymous Donor Advised Fund of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation, Bader Philanthropies, Isabel Bader, Brico Fund, Susan A. Lubar, Joan Lubar & John Crouch, David & Madeleine Lubar, Suzy Ettinger Donor Advised Fund of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation, Milwaukee Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, Gene and Ruth Posner Foundation, America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Anonymous, Jewish Community Relations Council, Israel Center, Betsy Rosenblum and Richard Buchband, Annalee Sosman, The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Tikkun Ha-Ir. This exhibit is supported in part by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

In connection with Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, June 17 – September 25, 2022. 

About Siona Benjamin

Siona Benjamin has an MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Ill., and an MFA in theater set design from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She has exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia.

She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 to India, and a second Fulbright fellowship in 2016-17 to Israel. As not just a Jewish artist but also as one who crosses cultural boundaries, she’s received praise in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, Art in America, Art New England, Art and Antiques, ArtNews, Moment Magazine, The Times of India, The Mumbai Mirror, Marg Magazine, and other publications.

Her multicultural art has also been featured in The Jewish Week in New York City and New Jersey, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, and other publications.

About Aditi Narayan

Aditi Narayan has been learning Indian Classical dance since she was seven years old. Growing up as a first generation Indian-American, she used dance to understand her Indian heritage through depictions of stories from Hindu Mythology. She has a BA in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature from Marquette University, and is currently studying both Culinary Management and Baking & Pastry Management at Waukesha County Technical College.  

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