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Ben Niles Celebrates Career in Culminating Exhibition Mixing Fine Art and Graphic Design at SOPAC

originally published: 09/21/2023

Ben Niles Celebrates Career in Culminating Exhibition Mixing Fine Art and Graphic Design at SOPAC

(LEFT) Siena by Ben Niles (RIGHT) TINGUELY No. 7 by Ben Niles

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Ben Niles’ mesmerizing new exhibition at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)FULL CIRCLE, pays tribute to a lifetime of artistic mediums and showcases a convergence of graphic design and painting in a series of delightfully colorful and geometric pieces. This exhibition will be on display in The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery on SOPAC’s second and third floors until November 19, 2023.

Originally a graphic designer for Atlantic Records in Georgia, Ben Niles comes from a lineage of talented artists.  The show’s title captures the feeling of completeness Niles gets from incorporating the many artistic mediums he worked in throughout his career.

Niles was born into a family of artists who, like himself, evolved from graphic designers to painters. Both his father and sister were award-winning graphic designers turned fine artists in Atlanta, Georgia. Niles also first studied graphic design and then moved to fine art when he studied in Cortona, Italy.  There, he was exposed to the clever works of Jean Tinguely, the boldness of Egon Schiele, the graphic integrity of Paul Rand, as well as the vibrant bi-annual Palio horse race in the Tuscan city of Siena. It was during his time in Italy that Niles immersed himself in the rich artistic tradition that would greatly influence his artistic sensibilities. Both fine art and Italian tradition left indelible imprints on the artist.

Each piece in the exhibition draws on the collision of whimsical forms and graphic elements in equal parts. This juxtaposition adds depth and complexity, creating a captivating dialogue that invites viewers to explore the interplay between structure and spontaneity.

The exhibition is a celebration of creativity, connection, and the limitless possibilities when art forms intertwine. Each piece displays a remarkable fusion of acrylic, ink, and graphite, skillfully intertwined with the technique of screen printing.  Their vibrant colors and drastic shapes and patterns explore the creation of positive and negative space.  Every stroke and layer showcase the boundless possibilities that arise when multiple art forms intertwine.

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“Niles’ densely textured, eye-popping canvases are the perfect first art show to grace our gallery walls for Season 18 at SOPAC,” says SOPAC Executive Director Stephen Beaudoin.  “How fitting that we’re starting the Gallery’s season by showcasing the beautiful work of a South Orange, NJ resident artist!  I can’t wait to see you at The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery for this show, and I encourage you to consider building or adding to your own personal art collection with one or more of Ben’s stunning works.”

This spellbinding merger of graphic design and painting represents the culmination of Niles’ education and experiences, bringing together the skills and inspirations he acquired throughout his career. FULL CIRCLE is a testament to the power of artistic exploration and the profound impact it can have on both the artist and the viewer.

If visitors are interested in making a purchase, they can contact Linda Beard at (973) 382-1035 or email

Since 2006, South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.



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