First Glimpse of ATU’s New Sculpture Offered May 2

Julie Benda in Studio
A photo of Julie Benda at work in her studio.

A new 17-foot long oak sculpture that will be installed on the Arkansas Tech University campus in Russellville will be unveiled during an event hosted by the ATU Department of Art on Thursday, May 2.

The reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. in Norman Hall, 203 West Q Street on the ATU campus in Russellville. Admission will be free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The sculpture was created by Julie Benda, 2024 Windgate Foundation artist in residence at ATU. As part of the May 2 reception, she will offer an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. in Norman Hall room 105. The sculpture will be on display in Norman Hall Art Gallery during the May 2 event.

According to biographical information published to her website, Benda is a writer, illustrator and visual artist with a practice in print, sculpture and public art.

She grew up on the upper peninsula of Michigan. Her artwork has been featured in Make MN Magazine, MN Original, Hyperallergic and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Benda is the recipient of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and the Jerome/MCBA Mentorship.

The artist in residence program at ATU is made possible through a grant from the Windgate Foundation. Additional financial support from the Windgate Foundation over the past five years has allowed Arkansas Tech to establish a summer professional development program for K-12 art teachers, develop enhanced opportunities for ATU graduates to attend medical school, purchase equipment for Arkansas Tech nursing students and establish a need-based scholarship fund.

Benda is the sixth artist in residence in Arkansas Tech history. She was preceded by Manami Ishimura (spring 2019), Tiffany Black (spring 2020), Jade Hoyer (fall 2021), Andrew Malczewski (spring 2022) and Haylee Bolinger (spring 2023).

Learn more about the ATU Department of Art at