Meet the Artists:
Benoit Menasche, Marble Sculptor
Benoit was born in Cairo, Egypt, son of artist Maurice Menasche, the architect for King Farouk and his royal family. Benoit studied in Lausanne, Switzerland and eventually resided in Paris, France where he was influenced by the masterpieces in the Louvre Museum and decided to study art. In the early 1960's, Benoit moved to the United States where he continued to master the art of oil painting. Many of his works are displayed all over the world.
In the 1980’s, Benoit’s interest in art expanded into sculpture. His creativity is unique and is best represented in this art form. He works predominantly in marble and alabaster, and is described as an impressionist. He believes that stone and wood have their own life and he is only the hand that brings it to light.
In addition to sculpting and writing, Benoit has devoted his time to promoting art in Broward County and specifically in Pembroke Pines. He was the Chairperson of the Pembroke Pines Arts and Culture Advisory Board, at which time he brought forth a vision of art for The City of Pembroke Pines. At present, Benoit is the Art Curator of the Pembroke Pines Glass Gallery.
Felix Gonzalez, Steel Sculptor
Felix Gonzalez was born in Mariel, Cuba in 1952. In 1961, his family immigrated to the United States aboard the Freedom Flights. They settled in Miami where Felix completed his education and later met his wife, Reggie. Felix joined the Miami Dade Fire Department and retired as a Captain after 28 rewarding years of service.
Upon retiring, Felix began a period of reflection and self study which led him to begin studying art. Influenced by the many cultures and genres he had seen while traveling the world, he began to teach himself various techniques from the many art books which fill his library.
Felix participated in several art shows in South Florida and became involved with many local galleries. He won several art contests and was featured in local newspapers and magazines. When the Felix was approached to create a 9/11 memorial for the City of Pembroke Pines, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to create meaningful art that would reach towards peoples’ emotions.
Since the memorial’s beginning, it has been featured in many local newspapers, the International Firefighters Organization and the American Journal of Welding Magazine. Felix hopes his work will be an inspiration to all who look upon the steel sculptures.