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EcoFutures - Meet The Team: Julie Reneé Benda

June 5, 2017

Name: Julie Reneé Benda
Biome: Fog Desert
Featured Plants: Welwitchia mirabilis, Conophytum, Puya boliviensis

Q: What artistic mediums do you practice?
A: Print, installation, environmentally interactive

Q: Describe the defining moment in your life that led you to pursue a career in the arts.
A: Junior year in college, I found myself sitting behind a microscope in a room that smelled like formaldehyde, listening to our Botany Lab Tech inform us that pipetting droplets onto slides and bending over a lens would likely be what the five years of our career would look like. I finished the Biology minor, thanked my professor, and left the department that semester to take my first art class.

Q: What’s one unique thing about you?
A: I was born and raised on a double peninsula. (the Keweenaw Peninsula which branches off the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Which, as a state, is also two peninsulas- and has the most coastline of any state in the lower 48)

Q: What was your favorite plant growing up?
There was (and still is) a small hazelnut bush located near our woodshed growing up. It was dwarfed by the shade of maple trees and our barn which made it the perfect size and canopy to function as a suitable fort for anyone under 4 feet tall. There were two “rooms” between the various branches, as well as an entrance and exit.

Q: What interests you about the plants you selected for Northern Spark?
They drink h2o in the form of a colloidal suspension (fog!)

Q: When was the last night you stayed up until 5:26 a.m.?
Northern Spark 2015


To learn more about the Ecological Futures installation at TPT, visit!


#ecofutures #savethebiomes #northernspark


Ecological Futures: Speculative Biomes of the Past, Present and Future is presented MN Original and TPT as part of Northern Spark 2017, produced by Northern

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2017. All rights reserved.


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