Meet Ben!

Ben explaining the pleasures of printing.

Ben explaining the pleasures of printing.

You all have meet me, Jonas, already, but did you know that PRESS has two interns? My fellow intern is Ben Charbonneau, and I decided to put on my Lois Lane pants and sitt down with Ben for an interview to help you all learn more about him.

Ben, can you give some background info, like where you’re from, your schooling, and what you like to do in your freetime.

“I’m originally from North Adams, in 2008 I moved to Salem, Ma, to go to college. I initially studied photography but ultimately graduated with a degree in Printmaking.  When I’m not working or at PRESS, I can usually be found in the craft beer isle at the package store contemplating my options, or in Northampton spending time with my girlfriend.”

Can you tell me what brought you to PRESS?

“I started interning at PRESS because ironically enough, the experience I was looking for was in my backyard. During my time at Salem State University, the facilities didn’t have a letterpress, just an etching press. After graduation and a brief stint on an organic farm, I realized I much better suited as a printmaker than a farmer. When I moved back to the Berkshires, I got in contact with Melanie fairly quickly.  I think it’s a pretty great fit thus far!”

Interns here at PRESS have to complete a project at the end of the semester. Can you describe your project for this semester?

“Currently, I’ve been quite obsessed with drawing hands, hands of every shape and size. In many ways, our hands are mankind’s most important tools.  Whether they are the calloused and knobby or the delicate and petite, there’s a story behind each set and I hope to create images that inspires all kinds.”

What inspires you, in your art and your life?

“I’m inspired by all types of things. What inspires me in my everyday life directly influences my artistic inspiration. That being said, I’m get my kicks from the human anatomy and how it’s a badass natural machine, any type of exaggeration, the late, great, Kurt Vonnegut, and being a ‘realist’, to rattle a few.”

Alright, so is there an element art you enjoy working with most, and why?

“I really enjoy relief printing, I love the satisfaction that comes from carving a piece of linoleum or wood for hours on end, that in itself is an art to me.”

How did you start making art?

“I remember drawing on a toy chalkboard my mom got me for Christmas one year when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Since then, I’ve never really stopped drawing and feeling a strong sense of creativity.”

We’ll finish up with a series of questions in the vein of James Lipton and Bernard Pivot.

1. What is your favorite word?

“There are too many to choose from, today I like the word Alchemy.”

2. What is your least favorite word?

“Moist, it’s disgusting.”

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

“Raw emotion.”

4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?


5. What sound or noise do you love?

“Naturally running water.”

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

“The squeak in the front end of my truck.”

7. What is your favorite curse word?


8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

“Being a surgeon, naturally.”

9. What profession would you not like to do?

“The guy who has to clean septic tanks.”

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“’Wasn’t that a funny joke?’”

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