View of trees from the clerestory windows in the Edna Kawulitzki art gallery in the Tenafly Public Library

Edna Kawulitzki Art Gallery

On View in the Edna Kawulitzki Art Gallery

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Maureen Bennett

Beauty & (Im)Balance


on display through July & August

On a micro level, my backyard and woods in northern NJ reflect a greater concern for our changing world. I explore my home environment, which is deeply personal and at the same time universal in the greater context of our global climate crisis. Many forces are integral to my work, particularly during this past year of pandemic when I created the mixed media Quarantine Backyard Mandalas Series. I was motivated to bring joy, beauty and unity while raising consciousness about my environment, particularly the presence of invasive plant species and the abundance of tree losses. Many of these plants crowd out the native ones which have thrived for millennia. They are better at adapting to the accelerating climate change and can beat the native species, to the new fields, valleys and mountains. As plants and trees are forced to adapt, they must, in effect, make some sort of order out of chaos.


Formed in my backyard and woods, these mandalas take on recognizable natural shapes in unexpected symmetry, and sometimes intentional asymmetry. I create in layers using multiple mediums working at first with urgency and alarming speed, and completing in a very slow mediated stage. The mandala is an ancient spiritual symbol usually taking a circular form to represent life’s eternal journey, never-ending and perfect. It is an ever-present reminder of interconnectedness and change. Nothing lasts forever and nothing exists on its own.

Maureen Bennett

Learn more. Visit Maureen Bennett's website

To display art work in the gallery or exhibit case

Email the following to Julie Marallo, Library Director at


Artwork is displayed for two months and is selected by the Tenafly Public Library Art Committee. You will be contacted if your work is selected. The committee meets on an irregular basis.

Read our art exhibit policy.