Some say he knows every scaly fish / Although it sounds insane / He flies among the stars at night / And calls each shark by name
Jeff “Rip” Bender is a writer/artist who writes about life and has a life that is about his art. While the two skills often intersect, both reflect a zeal for the spontaneous, the curious and most things that are alive and breathing. Always supplementing his stories with constructions and collages, his artwork is held in collections both public and private, both regionally and internationally. He holds an MFA in printmaking from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a BA in Art from the College of Wooster. He signs his art “rip” from his zest for bending and tearing and generally altering surfaces.
Coming from a long line of story tellers, Jeff’s writing reflects the kinds of conversations one has at a yard sale, or possibly in a dentist’s chair. His debut book, Everything I Know About Life I Learned at Summer Camp hearkens back to a different time and celebrates those awkward moments that helped us develop the alligator skin we needed to survive and thrive in life.
After getting his head caught in a sink as a child, he vowed to avoid all small areas, and currently resides with his wife and cat on a wind-swept plateau in Indiana. He shares his many entertaining, but slightly endearing flaws with his two grandsons, but his greatest accomplishment to date is teaching his cat how to sit. Artistically, he is an multi-disciplined person, however he prefers English, and then only in short sentences with one syllable words. His favorite beverage is Styrofoam