Benjamin Caras (benjamin)

Benjamin Caras (benjamin)

Progressive Metal Designer/Craftsman
Architectural Fabrication Specialist
Architectural installation Project Manager
CNC Machine Designer
Fine Artist

Biography

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1973 to parents with artistic and technical backgrounds, Benjamin R. Caras became familiar with the components of the artistic process at a young age. His mother was a painter, and, through the paternal line, Benjamin was exposed to the use of metals for various purposes. His late grandfather owned a tool-and-dye company and his father owns and operates a metal fabricating business. From the age of nine on, Benjamin created objects out of various metals, becoming increasingly sophisticated over time as a craftsman. He has moved beyond the shaping of metals for strictly utilitarian purposes to exploring the medium’s aesthetic possibilities, particularly in the area where organic forms meet industrial design.

After high school, Benjamin worked in several jobs that prepared him for the technical aspects of making sculpture via progressive metal craft and contemporary architectural fabrication methods.. He then attended Ormond College in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1997 to study the arts. There, he received an NCVA award in art and design. In 1999 he attended West Virginia University on an Art Department Performance Grant to complete his BFA in sculpture.

Benjamin spent his childhood around the inlets and harbors of Cape Cod, becoming fascinated with shell forms and how the sea creatures’ construction of shells was both like and unlike fabrication and welding. This interest shaped two of the sculpture series that he has produced in the past years: “Mechanical Selection”, “Young Machines.”, and "Reconstructing Nature"

Benjamin has had many solo shows and number of group shows. His work has been shown in a number of galleries, including The Brick Row Restaurant (2000) and the Blue Moose Cafe (2001). In June of 2001, his work was permanently installed in the Vice Versa dance club. His recent solo exhibition entitled “Mechanical Selection” was shown at the Top of Tucker Gallery in Thomas, WV in February 2002. “Young Machines” was displayed at the Garo Gallery in Morgantown, WV in 2003. His Masters Thesis Exhibition "Reconstructing Nature" will be on view May 9-16 at the Herter Gallery University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Benjamin is currently at work exploring the concept of CNC application and the creation of ideas that lead to fine art.

Exhibitions

BENJAMIN R. CARAS
2352 Main St. Concord, MA 01742
(978) 430-4465
benjamin.caras@gmail.com
www.artdoxa.com/benjamin

EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst, MA
Masters of Fine Arts—Visual Art, Emphasis in Digital Design, Digital Fabrication (2008)

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY, Morgantown, WV
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts – Sculpture (2003)
Awarded 4-Year Art Department Performance Grant

ORMAND UNIVERSITY, Kilkenny, Ireland
NCVA Diploma in Art, Photography, and Design, With Distinction (1998)

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Instructor of sculpture Northeaster University, Boston, MA (2009-Present)
Responsible for the curriculum and teaching digital fabrication.

Instructor and Manager of Metal Sculpture Discipline
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (2005 – 2008)
Responsible for the entire curriculum and teaching of Introductory and Advanced Metal Sculpture and Fabrication:
- Management of the budget and inventory in the Metal Studios
- Maintenance and service for all equipment
- Maintenance of UMass Environmental Health and Safety standards
- Coordination of safety monitors and lab hours

Instructor of Sculpture / Wood Practices
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (2005 – 2008)
Responsible for the entire curriculum and teaching of Sculpture in Wood and other Materials

Independent Study Mentor
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (2005 – 2008)
Mentor undergraduate art students in sculpture for independent credit under the supervision of senior faculty

Head Instructor in Metal Sculpture
Snow Farm, the New England Craft Program, Williamsburg, MA (Summer 2006 & 2007)
Responsible for teaching artistically gifted teens and adults sculpture and advanced metalworking technique


Assistant Sculpture Teacher
West Virginia University Governor’s Honors Academy, Morgantown, WV (Summer 2001 & 2002)
Taught artistically gifted high school students the fundamentals of sculpture

WORK HISTORY

ARCHITECTURAL METAL FABRICATOR, Brooklyn, NY – Boston MA (2008-2009)
Project Manager/Designer/Studio Foreman/Installation Director
Oversee all production at some of New York and Bostons ’s fastest paced architectural fabrication studios. Responsibilities include: supervising metal fabrication in the production of high-end architectural installations. Organizing and maintaining manufacturing facilities and equipment. Managing manpower for multiple projects. Recent projects include: Supervising the production of finely finished interior and exterior components for latest Richard Meier architectural project “On Prospect Park”.

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst, MA (2005 – 2008)
Supervisor/Professor of the UMASS Sculpture Program
Teaching metal fabrication on all scales and production levels from jewelry to large-scale installations and managing the material fabrication studios. Responsibilities include: Daily management of studios, material and equipment; program/materials budget; coordinating vendors; scheduling.

CARAS DESIGN/LEDGEROCK FABRICATION Concord, MA/Brooklyn, NY (2003 – Present)
Project Manager/Designer/Fabricator
Created design elements for residential and commercial clients. Consulted on large- and small-scale projects finding design solutions in metal. Managed the builds of architectural, industrial and interior metal elements.

LEDGEROCK WELDING & FABRICATING, Concord, MA (1992-2003)
Welder/Fabricator/Machinist/Designer/Estimator
Responsible for the wide range of tasks involved in daily operation.

SNOW FARM CRAFT SCHOOL, Williamsburg, MA (July 2006)
Head Instructor Sculpture in Metal
Taught artistically gifted students sculpture and advanced metalworking technique.



LECTURE EXPERIENCE

PECHA CUCHA 20X20 LECTURE
Professional Lecture Series Worcester, MA and World Wide (Feb 2010)
Lecture Topic: CNC Technology, Digital Design, and Practical application

MARLBORO COLLEGE, Marlboro, VT (Oct 2009)
Visiting Artist Lecture
Lecture Topic: Personal artistic process
Participated in group critiques

COLLAB LABORATORY & STUDIOS, New York, NY (Sept, 2009)
Professional Lecture Series
Lecture Topic: CNC Technology, Digital Design, and Practical application

DORKBOT ORGANIZATION, New York, NY (Feb 2009)
Monthly Professional Lecture Series
Lecture Topic: Homebuilding CNC machinery on a limited budget.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & HONORS

Honors
Dedalus Foundation Fellowship Nominee, New York NY (2007)
“Art That Ate New York Competition” - Finalist, Thomson Street Gallery, New York NY (2007)
Five College Film Festival - First Place, South Hadley MA (2005)
Fairmont Watercolor Society Annual Juried Competition - Second Place, Fairmont WV (2003)
Society of Arts and Letters Small Sculpture Competition - Third Place, Two Honorable Mentions (2001)
Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Robotic Competition - Second Place (1991)

Solo Exhibitions
“House of Cards” - University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA (2005)
“Flying Conch” - Discovery Museum, Acton MA (2005; Permanent Installation)
“Young Machines” - Garo Gallery, Morgantown WV (2003)

Group Exhibitions
“Role of the Father” - SUAG Gallery, Amherst MA (2007)
“Boston Young Contemporaries” - Boston University Gallery, Boston MA (2006)
“RISD Graduate Exchange” - Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI (2006)
“DeCordova Museums Annual Juried Art Auction” - DeCordova Museum, Lincoln MA (2005)
“Institute for Contemporary Art Juried Auction” - Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston MA (2004)
“DeCordova Museums Annual Juried Art Auction” - DeCordova Museum, Lincoln MA (2004)
“Small Sculptures 2001” - Society of Arts and Letters, Parkersberg WV (2001)

RELATED SKILLS

Materials

Metal Fabrication – Advanced
-Management and teaching all aspects of industrial/architectural metal fabrication and contemporary metal production
-Reading and drawing engineering blueprints, drafting, GMAW TMAW welding processes, gas, laser, water-jet, and plasma cutting, roll forming, forging, CAD, press-brake operations, machine work, sheet metal forming and fabrication
-Incorporation of Computer Aided Manufacturing into the classroom
-Design and construction of CNC Plasma Cutting, and vector graphics based large scale plotting devices

Casting – Advanced
-Management and teaching all aspects of contemporary foundry process including: mold making, investment, ceramic shell, and sand casting, chasing, finishing and patination
-Experience designing and building a wide range of casting-related equipment including: crucible furnaces, iron casting cupolas, and burnout kilns

Wood Fabrication – Advanced
-Management and teaching all aspects of contemporary wood fabrication process
-Experience with the use of wood and all of its fabrication and joining techniques
-Incorporation of Computer aided manufacturing into the classroom and studio with a small format CNC router

DIGITAL and COMPUTER

3-D Digital Design and Output – Advanced
-Experience with all facets of 3 dimensional digital design and manufacturing
-Design and construction of CNC digital manufacturing machines
Software: Autocad, Solidworks, Sketchup,, Electronic Machine Control 2, G-Code, CamBam and MACH-3

2-D Digital Design and Output – Advanced
-Experience with all facets of 2 dimensional digital design
-Understanding of contemporary pre-press operations for producing professional print media
Software: Adobe Creative Suite 3, QuarkXpress, MS Office and MS Excell

Computer System Skills – Advanced
Systems: Mac OS, Windows, Linux

MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Academic:
-Art Department and Production Studio Management
-Experience in grant-writing for academic proposals and for departmental fundraising

Business:
-Business Management; serving Industrial, Commercial and Private Clients
-Project Management: serving the art, architectural, and metals industries including installation, structure, and ornamentation

Manufacturing:
-Technical Management of electro-mechanical equipment including metal and wood fabricating equipment, computers, office equipment, and automobiles

Announcements

Pecha Kucha Lecture

http://pechakucha-worcester.blogspot.com/2010/02/vol-4-presenter-profile-benjamin-caras.html

  • Anna Plonka (annaart)
  • Simone Bruehl (zeoz)
  • Jeanne Brasile (beastiecurator)
Show all Contacts
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