Granary Arts Beth Krensky Portable Sancuaries

BETH KRENSKY / Portable Sanctuaries

February 10 – May 13, 2016


My art draws from what Bittar deems “ancestral wells.”  My biological, cultural and religious well informs what I create. I strive to produce work that transcends the political for the human and that sparks questioning and envisioning about what is possible.


Header image: Tashlich (still), Beth Krensky

Much of my work is reminiscent of ritual artifacts, both real and imagined. I loosely draw from centuries-old faith traditions and objects to invent new work for performative actions.

These performance pieces are part of a larger series of portable sanctuaries that are intended to respond to the natural or built environment while providing a refuge—a space within a space.

“Beth Krensky metaphorically travels to [her] ancestral well and plucks out what is most relevant. What she finds varies, from stories and objects to images and personas. She reinvents her respective cultural and ethnic milieus.…Eventually the things or detritus she has collected conjure up parables/stories that become infused with icon-like gravitas. These icons in new contexts create…templates for survival, if and when the ground underneath shifts yet again.”  
—Doris Bittar, critic


About the Artist

Beth Krensky is Associate Professor of Art Education and the Area Head of Art Teaching at the University of Utah.  She is an artist, activist and educator.  She received her formal art training from the Boston Museum School and MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies. She has exhibited widely throughout the United States and internationally. She was selected as a Fellow with the Jewish Art Salon in New York City in 2014.  Her work is intended to provoke reflection about what is happening in our world as well as to create a vision of what is possible. 

She is also a scholar in the area of youth-created art and social change. She received a master’s degree with a focus on critical pedagogy and art education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has coordinated numerous community-based art initiatives, including creating a Peace Park with young people in Colorado and the book A Piece of Peace with young people from Massachusetts. Her co-authored book, Engaging Classrooms and Communities through Art: A Guide to Designing and Implementing Community-Based Art Education, was published in 2009 by AltaMira Press/Rowman & Littlefield. She is currently co-writing a book (with Dr. George Rivera, University of Colorado-Boulder) about a ten-year retrospective of Artnauts’ exhibitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

She has received multiple teaching and research awards, including the University of Utah Early Career Teaching Award, the University of Utah Public Service Professorship, the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award in Research and the University of Utah Presidential Scholar Award.