photo courtesy of Alan Nguyen

Petra Ann Benach

Studio: Broedplaats ACTA 


Looking for more?

Watch her latest talk for Creative Mornings. 

For other work see Foundations,  Installations and ARTsy WORDS. Follow Petra on Facebook and Tumblr for her current musings. 




Petra makes art.

Petra Benach (pea-trah, pie-trah) is a self-taught mixed media artist from California. She began painting and drawing at the age of 13. As a straight "A" student she was encouraged to study Math as art was classified as a hobby. Petra took as many art classes as she could as she pursued her degree. She left college after a difficult time adjusting to her Grandfather's death and took a few years off from school. It was during this time that she began to paint more regularly.

When she decided to return to school to finish her degree, Petra chose to attend Sonoma State University for its contribution to the field of psychology. There she studied Humanistic Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy. She focused heavily on exploring the link between the emotions and art. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1999.

In late 1999, Petra moved to San Francisco and began studying painting with artist Glenn Hirsh through UC Berkeley. In 2002 she rented her first studio space in Dog Patch while working as an accounting consultant. She continued to marginalize her work while she grew her business, studied QiGong, attended Burning Man annually, got certified to practice acupressure, got married/divorced/married and finally moved away from home.

Three things finally made it possible for Petra Benach to choose to professionally pursue art and call herself an artist (despite having had "ART" business cards for 10 years). That holy trinity:

- May, 2013 - she launched exposingARTS, which allowed her to be surrounded by amazing artists and the galleries/people that support them

- March 11th, 2014 - she said goodbye to her last grandparent, Sophie Forsman, whose impact in her life was significant

- August 1st, 2014 - her husband Dave Benach got her a studio space at ACTA Broedplaats in Amsterdam and pushed her out the door

Though Petra’s first love has always been painting, she also explores engagement/performance art, installations and sculpture. 

Petra currently works and lives in Amsterdam, the proverbial snow globe. Contact her for a visit to the studio.