Ken was influenced early in life by his father, a talented designer in advertising and a skilled woodworker. As a teen, Ken was employed in a sign shop and, related to his love of cars, became well-known for his ability to do pin-striping and flame painting on customized cars and motorcycles.
After attending Ball State (at the time “Teachers’ College”) as an Industrial Arts major and Art minor, he was hired by a Muncie corrugated container company as a package designer. He retired in 2003, after 37 years in the packaging business, as a Senior Designer for Inland Container Company in Indianapolis.
Joyce, a retired high school art educator, considers herself an artist/designer. She embraces the challenge of using post-consumer waste (used, discarded and found objects) as her medium to create witty and somewhat provocative works of art in both two and three dimensions. Her assemblages, collages, and mixed-media drawings reflect her sense of humor as well as her multi-media background as an art educator.
Active in historic preservation, Joyce and her husband, Ken, have restored two nineteenth-century houses in National Register Historic Districts. In retirement they “reinvented” themselves as “Sam and Izzy”, dealers in antiques and uniques. The “Uniques” are one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture or accessories which they restore and repurpose from curbside discards and thrift store finds. Ken, a retired package designer, also creates twig furniture and garden accessories from yard waste trimmings.
Joyce and Ken are the parents of son Cary Benbow who has a fine arts degree in photography and daughter Kyle Benbow Miller who is a middle school art educator.
The Benbows’ Market Street studio “Green Gate” is so named for their efforts to reuse, recycle, repurpose, restore and live “green”.