Sylvia Bendzsa is a printmaker and painter known for her landscapes and St. John’s street scenes.
Bendzsa was born in London, Ontario, in 1942. She studied commercial art illustration at the Ontario College of Art and printmaking at Ohio University’s School of Fine Art. In 1996, she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Bendzsa moved to Newfoundland in 1974. She began working as a volunteer at St. Michael’s Printshop and then served for three years as chairperson of its board of directors. She has worked as a freelance illustrator and designer, as a visual art coordinator for the Sound Symposium, and as an art director for the multimedia presentation Marconi…Wizard of Wireless. She has also served as a past executive director of the Visual Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL). In 2006, Bendzsa and printmaker Cecil Day were The Rooms 2006 Landfall Artists-in-Residence.
Though often recognized as a printmaker, Bendzsa is proficient in many media, including painting and installation. Some of her pieces feature interactive components, such as doors that spectators can walk through and sculptures with sound accompaniments. Her willingness to experiment with contemporary media makes it difficult to categorize Bendzsa’s work, which can be finely detailed and colourful, or starkly abstract and monochromatic.
Bendzsa is represented in many private and public collections, such as The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her work has travelled across Canada in exhibitions and collections with such organizations as Labatt Breweries, Lloyds of London, and Fishery Products International.