Jean graduated from Cornish College and later the University of Texas in San Antonio, Texas. For many formative years, she lived in Ketchum, Idaho working at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts thriving on exposure to a diverse roster of visiting artists and scholars.
Behnke has exhibited nationally for 40 years with reviews in Art in America and Artweek. Solo exhibitions include the Kohler House in San Antonio, the Art Gym in Portland, Women & Their Work in Austin, Cygnus Gallery in La Conner, Anchor art space in Anacortes and Shoreline in Seattle. Among others, Jean’s work has been included at CoCA, the Tacoma Museum of Art, the Hunt Gallery, San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Whatcom Museum, Anchor art space, Skagit Valley College, Lower Columbia College and WSU Tri-Cities.
Jean founded Anchor art space, a well-respected exhibition space offering compelling shows and programs attracting a broad audience from the region and beyond. She served on boards at Cornish College, 911 Media Arts, Anchor art space and the La Conner Arts Commission as well as represented Artist Trust as a regional ATAL speaker.
Artist’s Statement: Lopez Island, in the San Juan archipelago of northwest Washington has been my home for thirty years and remains a place of tranquility and restoration. Like my childhood home, this place has also shaped what I make and how I make it.
In the studio I am motivated by my own innate bearings, When I work I am interested in the material’s inherent qualities and pay attention to tensional encounters between various materials as they are in any given moment. My attention is pulled by how something is left lying or brought into proximity with other objects and shapes. I think the work I make resolves itself somewhere between my intention and lack of it. When this resolution is not possible to predict, I can place things in some kind of alignment where an authentic work may happen.