About Benita Cullinan

I learned to sew watching my mother do alterations on women's clothing while I did my homework at the kitchen table.

One summer day while my sister was watching me, I made a sleeveless blouse out of my mother's tablecloth and sewed the ball fringe from the curtains on the bottom.  I was 7.  Oblivious to the dangers of using my mother's sewing machine and cutting up her possessions, it was amazing to me she allowed me to continue using it and all the attachments.  I had the best doll clothes.  This is when Benitaworks truly started.

It seemed fabric always attracted me.  The textures, the colors, the patterns and all the possibilities.  No piece was too small, too weird or unusable.  It needed to be rescued, saved, given another purpose, or too good to throw away.

Humor has also been an important part of my pieces.  Things needed to be fun, light hearted, have a human characteristic or an ironic twist on an idea.  Since most of my work involves an incredible amount of time to produce requiring long periods of time alone in my studio.

This is where my animals find me.  They come because my worktable is a lovely flat branch, the fabric soft to dig their claws in and they can destroy so much in so little time.  I use them for subjects in my work as so many people respond favorably to them.

Education and Work Experience
Masters in Textile Design School of Art Institute of Chicago
Textile Instructor Cleveland Institute of Art
  School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Exhibits May Show, American Craft Council, Art Institute of Chicago, Lakeland College Fall 2008
Work Designed textiles, carpet, plush toys, wallpaper, pillows & quilts
Prototype Designer Purses, toys, displays, bedding, etc.

© 2016 Benita Cullinan