While pursuing a degree in molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin, Sue Benner took two classes that would change the course of her life: art history and fabric design. She continued her studies in art, eventually moving to Dallas to attend graduate school at University of Texas – Southwestern, earning a master’s in biomedical illustration. During this time she transformed her vision of the microscopic universe into batiked quilts and soft sculpture. By 1980 Benner was working full time as a studio artist, primarily in the medium which later became known as the Art Quilt.
From her East Dallas studio, Benner creates richly layered quilt canvases by collaging her dyed, painted, and printed silks with found fabrics rescued from the obscurity of attics and thrift stores. She is well known as a lecturer and teacher, conducting workshops internationally in the areas of surface design and textile collage. Exhibiting widely for thirty years, she has been juried into Quilt National seven times and also served as a juror in 2009. Benner’s artwork resides in many private, corporate, and institutional collections including the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Neville Museum, National Quilt Museum, Mayo Clinic, and A. H. Belo Foundation.