Andy Benoit is a very familiar face here in the region.
He was a doctor at St. Andrews for many years. He jogs all around the area, cross country skis, ice skates, bikes and roller blades. Athleticism runs in the family.
He is the only person I know, other than my wife, who brings home from the dump more than he takes.
One of the other things Andy does quite well, and often, is paint. He has had shows at Bowdoin College, local galleries and soon, will be seen on the Internet worldwide.
More recently Andy has taken to producing the most unique “assemblages,” as he calls them, from a fantastic variety of stuff. Whales from drift wood, fish from discarded metal trimming shears, animals shaped from coils of discarded wire, feathers out of walnuts shells, and rowing fishermen assembled from plywood scraps. Many of these pieces, once created, are set into reclaimed drawers from trashed chests of drawers.
Andy's ability to see art in discarded objects is uncanny. He is a superior “repurposer” of the everyday.
While traveling now as a “fill-in” doc, Andy encounters more sources for his artistic palettes.
Assemblages he has created have been sold in Europe and continue to reach the marketplace throughout the U.S. With the endless supply of discarded materials, it's hard to tell what might become part of his next masterpiece.
Perhaps in the spring or the summer, after a season of collecting and creating, we will have a chance to view more of Andy's creations. In the meantime, when you see the white Volvo wagon at the dump, with Andy rooting around in a stack of discarded lumber, remember this — “One man's trash is another man's treasure.”
There is art occurring!