Artist Seth Benzel brought Spain to Ocala during a recent art show at his 8th Avenue Gallery.
Benzel, who found inspiration for the show’s featured pieces during his time in Spain, hosted the “Abstract Spain Project” at the gallery (1531 NE 8th Avenue) on Feb. 22.
“There was no business plan for 8th Avenue Gallery. There was no driving force besides my relationship with my father. He was sick at the time, and he said ‘I want you to have a working space and a gallery.’ And this is it,” said Benzel of the space.
He indicated that the studio opened a year prior for its first show, and that he was living out his dream as a result of his father’s vision.
“[My father] believed in Ocala and he believed in art. I’m just honored to be able to share it with all of you,” said Benzel.
The works displayed were a collection of paintings that Benzel hopes will allow the viewer to see Spain through his eyes. “It’s my hope that through this work you can experience Spain,” said Benzel of the Abstract Spain Project. He heralded the experience as a fantastic way to create art.
“What’s a better scenario than traveling and art? To experience another culture, to experience other people and the way that they live every day, and then to come back here to a place that I call home now,” said Benzel. He indicated that he will go to France this Summer to start the process again.
Benzel will host his next show on April 11 with a collection of local artists. The theme of that show will be views of abstraction throughout the community and will give artists the ability to interpret that theme however they see fit. His hope is to continue to nurture the growing art community that he sees in the community.
“I’m honored to call Ocala my home,” said Benzel.
To see some of Benzel’s work, or to read more about his upcoming projects, visit the Seth Benzel website.