Susan Benson was born in Kent, England. She trained as a painter in the UK before emigrating to Canada.
She now lives on Salt Spring Island on the West Coast of Canada.
Since moving to the West Coast of Canada, Susan Benson has returned to painting full time. Her work can be seen in many group, juried and solo exhibitions and galleries including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the National Archives and the Glenbow Museum, the Duthie Gallery, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Regional Showcase, the Art Gallery of Peel and Gallery Stratford. A semi finalist in the BP Portrait Awards in the UK. Her portraits and designs are in many collections with the portrait of Eric Donkin as Koko in ’The Mikado’ as part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of Canada.
Susan Benson was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1986. She has represented Canada at five Prague Quadrennial Theatrical Design exhibitions. On a number of occasions she has been a member of the Leighton Colony at the Banff Centre and in 2000 she received The Banff Centre Award for contributions to the Arts in Canada. In 2016 she received a Paul Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre. She has been a finalist and exhibited in three Parallel Art Shows which are part of the Salt Spring National Art Prize and in 2021 was awarded the Viewers Choice Award and the Juror’s Choice Award for her piece “The Meaning of Symbols: The Meaning of Memories”.
In 2019 She was honoured to be awarded the Order of Canada for her design work and mentorship of young designers and artists.