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Tamaqua artist's work on UN postage stamps

  • Tamaqua artist Stephen Bennett
    Tamaqua artist Stephen Bennett
Published October 05. 2010 05:00PM

The work of a Tamaqua artist will be featured once again in a series of United Nations postage stamps.

The second of three Indigenous People Series by Stephen Bennett will kick off with a First Day of Issue on Oct. 21 at the ASDA Mega-Stamp Show at The New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Ave., New York. The show will run until Oct. 24.

The work is part of a total of 18 U.N. stamps that will carry portraits created by Bennett.

Bennett also will attend the American Stamp Dealer Association (ASDA) National Postage Stamp Show, Oct. 21-24, at The New Yorker Hotel, where he will be on hand to autograph first issue stamps. At a reception following the signing, an exhibit of his original works will be displayed.

Featured on the 18 stamps are indigenous portraits of people from Australia, Brunei, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Thailand.

Bennett has traveled the world for the last 20 years, visiting 30 countries in seeking out indigenous people to capture their beauty with painted portraits. He has had solo exhibits in museums and galleries around the world including the U.N. He spends his spare time traveling, at home, and working with children through his nonprofit organization, Faces of the World Inc.

Faces of the World conducts portrait painting workshops with children in which they are encouraged to express themselves through the art of the portrait. Bennett succeeds in his artistic endeavors, thanks to his appreciation of human diversity and a love of the many expressions of the human face.

His goal is to encourage others to look into the eyes of his world portraits to fully experience our common humanity. He dedicates his work to bringing awareness to the importance of indigenous people. The massive scale of many portraits up to 10 feet conveys the dignity and vitality of cultures often overlooked. His hand-mixed pure pigment paint, captures their vibrancy. The power of these colorful portraits and their public exhibition helps return the focus on indigenous people, who are the original caretakers of planet Earth.

In winter 2010-11, Bennett will travel to Dubai, Ethiopia and Uganda, and in the spring 2011, to Japan and China on an expedition to capture faces for the Third Series of Indigenous People Stamps to be issued in 2012.

Bennett works out of a gallery inside the former Tamaqua First Presbyterian Church, 224 West Broad St. He was born in upstate New York. Artistic from his early years, he discovered his fascination of the human face when he was only 12, and started sketching the faces of his family and friends.

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