Sylvia Benitez

SBenitezSylvia Benitez
Fine Artist, Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association, Founder/President
Leadership in Art

I am a nationally known fine artist. I lived for many years in New York City. There I learned, often through hard knocks, the ways into the fine art industry. I gained a lot of skills and made many contacts that helped further my career and name. I moved when I was fifty to the San Antonio, Texas area. I noticed a need in its art community. There were very little on no exhibition opportunities for the emerging mature woman artist. So I founded a not-for-profit (501c3) women’s art organization, the Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association (GAGA). Its mission is to help promote the mature and unsung emerging woman artist in South Texas through educational and exhibition opportunities.

Through GAGA, I am able to share the knowledge and life experience I acquired in my field to help other artists with their struggle. GAGA provides a social network, where women artists can come together in solidarity, share expertise, knowledge, friendship and support. I like to think that GAGA is helping to enrich all of our lives and cultural heritage by supporting those who are over looked by the industry. And that just maybe, these unsung voices, if suddenly heard in the choir of their song, can contribute to a greater understanding of ourselves and the creative directive of this age.

What can you tell us about your Girl Scout experience?

It was wonderful. I made a lot of friends and earned many badges.

How did being a Girl Scout prepare you to be the leader you are today?

It instilled in me the importance of community and civic responsibility.

Are there any lessons you learned in Girl Scouts that you still live by?

Honor, trust, love and dedication to work ethics.

Do you have a special story/memory of being a Girl Scout?

Yes, I was about 8 years old and our troop was making cookies at Mrs. Brown’s house. I was the last one to leave. Back then, we walked home, mom’s didn’t pick us up. It was dark outside. As I left the house, I tripped and fell. I dropped and broke my cookies. I went back to Mrs. Brown in tears. She said, “not to worry, we can make more.” God love her! She must have been tired … but we made up an entirely new batch. Baked them too! That act of kindness has carried me a long way ... and it taught me to go the extra mile.

With the 100th Girl Scout Anniversary upon us, what would you tell a young girl today about the value of being a Girl Scout.
I would tell a young Girl Scout that the memories and the friends one makes through working together are a very important part of growing up. That being a Girl Scout paves the way to being a well-rounded individual equipped with the skills she will need throughout her life.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?
Thin Mint, of course!

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