Ben J. Cunningham

Ben J. Cunningham

Ben J. Cunningham

Associate Professor in 2D Design and Drawing
Office: Room 210 - Breidenstine Hall
Phone: 717-871-7254
Fax: 717-871-7929

View Website

Office Hours

T: 8:30 am - 9:00 am & 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
W: 8:00 am - 9:00 am
R: 8:30 am - 9:00 am & 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Comments: Hours applicable to Spring 2018.

Additional Information

Courses Taught

  • Two-Dimensional Design
  • Three-Dimensional Design
  • Drawing I Introduction to Drawing
  • Drawing II Life Drawing
  • Public Space, Public Art
  • Senior Seminar


  • Rhode Island School of Design

Research Interests

I am a visual artist because art can change individual behavior, communicate with
diverse cultures, and generate change on a global scale. Since the 1990’s, my artwork
has thematically focused on the human condition, a subject that has allowed my art to
continuously evolve. I explore and analyze human behavior, what unites us, what
divides us, laughter, sadness, loneliness, etc. both informs and forms my art.

Artist Statement

I don’t hold to the traditional belief that an artist is wedded to a specific media. Instead,
my artwork is conceptual, focusing primarily on the presentation of an idea rather than
the manipulation of materials. By concentrating on the idea, I am free to use any
material deemed appropriate. I mainly use found objects to construct my sculptures
because their inherent socially charged vocabulary conveys the complexities of my
ideas and assembling them is reminiscent of childhood play.

When beginning a work of art, I start out with an idea or statement usually inspired by
listening to National Public Radio, reading Newsweek, the New Yorker, or the New
York Times. After I have an idea, I search for materials that have the appropriate visual
language. Once committed to the materials, I experiment with their arrangement until
finding a satisfactory solution or presentation.

Over the years, I have honed my ability to focus my ideas, assess the social and
psychological context of potential materials and to formally resolve the final
presentation of the piece of artwork. These skills are the greatest components that
define and separate my artwork from that of others and allow me to be the change I
want to see. 

Professional Affiliations

  • FATE Foundation in Art: Theory and Education
  • CAA College Art Association
  • PAEA Pennsylvania Art Education Association
  • NAEA National Arts Education Association