Artist Dominic Benhura visits the site of Acrobats, a sculpture donated to DCT in 2017…
On a perfect day in June 2021, Artist Dominic Benhura came to DCT to both take in the setting for one of his works of art and to show us how to keep bringing to life the precious springstone through a unique polishing technique. This sculpture, aptly titled Acrobats, was donated to DCT in honor of the theater’s Founder and Executive Director Robyn Flatt by Jane and Bill Travis.
As a longtime supporter of DCT, Bill felt that the sculpture was a perfect depiction of the spirit, energy, and playfulness that DCT sparks in young people through its shows and class offerings.
Joined by British born promoter, Vivienne Prince, both Dominic and Vivienne appreciated the chance to see the art in its setting and getting to share with DCT friends what the piece means to them. Since COVID was still halting the normal amount of pitter patter around the sculpture at DCT, Dallas guests shared with the artists how inspiring it was to see children laughing, playing and enjoying the space before and after they see shows at DCT.
Dominic Benhura, now 53 years old, studied sculpture since age ten under his master sculptor cousin Tapfuma Gusta. He sold his first piece professionally to architects at the age of twelve. He’s remained connected with his young self, and his pieces are frequently inspired by children, nature, and family— making his work a perfect fit for DCT! According to Dominic, “I’m from Africa where everything said about it is sad. There are so many sad things about Africa, but I realized early on that children, despite the difficulties they’re going through anywhere in the world—children are very playful, always. So when I heard that my piece was sent to a children’s theater, I was so excited that children would forever get a chance to enjoy this work!
Benhura’s work is regarded as the cutting edge of Zimbabwe sculpture with one-man exhibitions in Zimbabwe sculpture with one-man exhibitions in Zimbabwe, Australia, Belgium, Holland, Germany and America. He combines fire and wax to bring out the natural beauty in the stone. More of Benhura’s work is available for viewing at the Dallas Arboretum through August 8th. View here!
Families are the heart of Benhura’s work, and the heart of Dallas Children’s Theater. We’re getting closer and closer to reopening, and we just can’t wait to see you again! On your next visit, be sure to take a moment to enjoy Acrobats. It would mean the world to us and Dominic whose love and passion for children is very evident in his art.
See you soon!
Image credits: Lawrence Jenkins and Kristi Cardwell