The Galleries at CSU

Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin

Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin
January 17 - March 25, 2023

Four Mothers

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

Cleveland State University is pleased to present Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin, a solo exhibition featuring over forty works considering and challenging themes of immigration, gender, race, the concept of “home," and the role of art in social change––almost always through a Jewish lens. 

Since emigrating from Mumbai to the United States in 1986, arriving in her mid-twenties, Benjamin has been pondering the meaning of belonging in her adopted homeland from all five of her identity markers: South Asian, immigrant, American, woman, and Jew. Her personal story informs her work alongside, and intertwined with, commentary on the imperfect state of the world today.

Benjamin's transcultural view has been shaped by diverse, complex experiences and finds form in history and mythology, as powerfully seen by the intriguing figures and symbolism that populate her art. Mingling styles derived from comic books, Pop art, Bollywood, Indian folk imagery, Persian miniatures, and Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, Benjamin blends tradition with innovation, and navigates feelings of inclusion and exclusion.

In crossing boundaries and building bridges, she asks viewers to do the same. 

Benjamin’s art has been shown in galleries, museums, and sacred spaces around the world. She has been awarded two Fulbright Fellowships to explore multiculturalism in Israel and India.

The current exhibition at The Galleries is curated by Dr. Samantha Baskind, Distinguished Professor of Art History. After the show closes in Cleveland, it will travel to the Skirball Museum in Cincinnati (April 20 – July 30).