Art by Lisa Benham | 2023 Art Contest Winner


Introducing the Winner of the 2023 Festival of the Cranes Art Contest 

Lisa Benham was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning a BFA (Painting and Drawing concentration) along a with minor degrees in music and psychology.

After raising a family and expanding her creative edges to work primarily as a digital artist in Silicon Valley for almost two decades, she returned to formal education, earning an MS degree in Environmental Studies, a certificate in GIS (think deep play with maps), and a certificate in Buddhist chaplaincy. Always seeming to meld her areas of interest in unexpected ways, she combined much of the above while teaching meditation and ecological literacy in San Quentin Prison and the local county jail, before moving to Springdale, Utah in Zion Canyon in 2015.

Shortly after relocating, she and her partner purchased a small travel accommodation business in nearby Rockville, Utah, rebranding it as the popular 2 Cranes Inn – Zion, and featuring Lisa’s own logo design of two dancing sandhill cranes. Their fascination with cranes has only deepened from there, and they recently enjoyed a pilgrimage of sorts to observe the cranes’ enormous spring gathering on the Platte River in central Nebraska. A composite of those photographs served as the source of her illustration which was chosen, the featured imagery for this year’s Festival of the Cranes.

The natural world remains an endless source of wellness and wonder, and she feels almost remiss when not lending at least some creative eye or homage, daily, to nature’s endless treasures. Her environmental academic background further informs the dizzying fractal depths of both simplicity and complexity which the world presents, everywhere. She humbly tries to express what too often feels inexpressible, as she builds small, fleeting artifacts — love totems to what she sees, feels, and wonders upon.

It remains a great honor to have her artwork selected, and Lisa extends her deep thanks and eager support to Friends of Bosque del Apache.    

Congratulations Lisa!

More about the contest

Every year Friends of Bosque del Apache hosts an art contest as part of Festival of the Cranes. This art is featured as one of the faces of our event and will be released on apparel, notecards and much more! The original artwork can be any medium: paintings, digital, printmaking, mixed media, two or three-dimensional art, photography, as well as any other. Photographs can be unaltered originals or edited. Friends also offers a free Expo booth or table during Festival (possible COVID-19 restrictions allowing), where the featured artist of the year can sell their artwork, from postcards to originals.



















Join Us

Join us in our work to preserve Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop