Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Painted Violin Project

DFW Artist Ernie Benton Creates Painted Violin
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
2011 Painted Violins
Passions from the Palette

Earnest “Ernie” Benton, Jr. is a contemporary artist who loves listening to music. In particular, he loves listening to jazz as he paints. He is at a point in his life where he can not only create his art work but can also give back to the world some of his time, energy, ideas, and occasionally even his art work.

Ernie was recently invited to participate in the Fort Worth Symphony’s “Painted Violins – Passions from the Heart” fundraising event. He along with thirty-one other professional and celebrity artists of regional and national importance have taken bare wooden violins as their canvases, using classical symphonic pieces as their inspiration, and created strikingly individual and vibrant works that reflect a variety of styles and media as well as personal concepts of art and music.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra shares the joy and beauty of symphonic music with nearly 65,000 children through more than 100 engaging programs each year. Through innovative educational events, in-school concerts, free neighborhood performances, and an extensive touring program, the Orchestra strives to ensure that children of all ages from every walk of life, every ethnic origin, and all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience live symphonic music. Since the beginning of November 2010 the completed violins have been displayed at a number of venues in Fort Worth, including Gallerie Kornye West, the Sid Richardson Museum and the Bass Performance Hall lobby during FWSO concerts.
Ernie’s inspiration for his “Painted Violin, Ballet Of The Strings” was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. He was inspired to create a piece that would command attention, be bold, playful, and provocative. Ernie says of the piece “The music was very moving, and spoke to me as a story of a dancer responding with her graceful moves to the music of an envisioned piano that is itself telling a story, a story of beauty and sorry, peace and heartbreak. I love the music of the piano and the way it evokes a range of emotions, it’s playfulness, and the demanding sounds it creates that can send you so high and also so very low.”

A native of Chicago, Ernie feels he has been blessed in many ways: by his early and continuing interest in art, by a wonderful mother who supported and encouraged him in whatever he did, and today, by a wife who works in the background to help his art career by marketing, budgeting, and designing his web site. Besides living in Chicago, Ernie also lived in the East near the Washington, DC area. He was quite active in the arts there, but fortune had him relocate to Texas in early 2002. He and his wife now live in north Fort Worth.

Ernie is basically self-taught, having started drawing when very young. As the years went by, he continued to train himself by observing other art and by creating his own pieces. He has created numerous acrylic paintings and also enjoys working in pastels. His strong, colorful, bold work is sometimes realistic and sometimes abstracted. Ernie tries to paint everyday and enjoys painting at night in his home studio. He says of his creative process, “I am inspired by passion, beauty, and the abstracts and intangibles of music, thought, form and figure. I love to create paintings to share my visions with the world so that just for a moment the viewer becomes a part of my story. My hope is that all who view my work will have a mood-changing experience that takes them on a short journey to peace, beauty, well-being, and serenity. The creative process of putting line and form on canvas or paper will always be an essential part of my life.”

He is very active in art organizations and charity groups that benefit from his membership and support and includes the Visual Arts Society of Texas, the Irving Arts Center, the Irving Art Association, the South Western Watercolor Society, and the Pastel Society of the South West just to name a few. He seems untiring in his efforts to create and promote art. He has won countless awards and prizes, and has been juried into numerous art exhibitions and festivals.

Learn more about the “Painted Violins” project at the Fort Worth Symphony website.  You can also see Ernie’s art and a lot more about him by checking

The exclusive Auction Event will be held at the Chesapeake Energy Plaza February 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

For More Information call  (817) 706-6151
Ernie Benton may be reached at 817-658-1256.

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