A master of brushwork and painting technique, Nolan P. Benner, Jr. had a style that was well-known and well-loved by anyone with an interest in art in the Lehigh Valley. Benner captured the local area with his brush and lavishly colored palettes, but the impact of his work reached out far beyond the Lehigh Valley.
Benner’s artwork vibrates with intense, rhythmic colors. Whether landscapes of the back roads in the Lehigh Valley, seascapes of summers spent at the Jersey Shore or portraits of friends, Benner’s canvases depict a lifetime of personal memories. “I have a concept of every painting I do. … I select my colors for my palette in advance for my paintings, and every painting has a different palette. Color is what it’s really all about,” stated Benner.
Benner’s contribution to and support of the local arts community was legendary. He had a lifelong involvement with the Baum School of Art, founded by his teacher, Oskar Baum, and the Allentown Art Museum. In addition, he was a longtime member of the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Bethlehem Palette Club. He exhibited with nearly every artist in the Lehigh Valley for fifty years.