Firmly rooted here, the decision to remain is based on my ecstasy of this place. The light is constantly changing and the dramatic rock formations are exciting. I can take a walk down a path anywhere in Newfoundland and rejoice in nature. Nature is so abstract by its very nature. It offers the artist constant changes. Viewers are often expecting a photographic vision. I try to blend the abstract into my interpretation of what I have discovered.Excerpt from artist statement in What's Happening vol.23, no.8, February 1999, p.13.
Sylvia Bendzsa was born in London, Ontario, in 1942. Bendzsa was five years old when she began taking classes at a local art gallery. As she matured, so did her interest in art. 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 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
In 1974, Bendzsa moved to Newfoundland. She began working as a volunteer at St. Michael's Printshop then served three years as chairperson of its board of directors. Some of her other professional activities include freelance illustration and design, visual art co- coordinator for the 1986 Sound Symposium, and art director for a multimedia presentation titled Marconi...Wizard of Wireless. She is the current executive director of Visual Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL).
Though often recognized as a printmaker, Bendzsa has also worked in other media including painting and installation. Some of her pieces feature interactive components such as doors that spectators were encouraged to 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's work has been included in group and solo exhibitions such as City and Sea, organized by Memorial University Art Gallery in 1988, and Boundaries, organized by Eastern Edge Art Gallery in 1989. In addition to being part of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, Bendzsa is represented in private and public collections such as The Canada Council Art Bank and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.