November 7, 2023 – November 2, 2025
"The Captains Quarters project was started in the summer of 2019, with the hopes to build a room to display my miniature ship model collection. From there, it grew into something much larger with a story of its own! I originally set out to only create the 17th century portion of the project with an upper and lower floor, but the idea struck me that perhaps this Captain could be something more than she seemed. Not only does she own the dark wood timbers and all the treasures within, but she captains a Spaceship with a Cargo Bay large enough to contain it all. The project now depicts a portion of that Cargo Bay that is built around the 17th century rooms. Lights and other mechanisms serve to protect and preserve this portion of history for our Captain’s use and future generations. The Captain character (in the story of the project) is over 200 years old and portions of the doll's skin changes color under UV light, hinting at the fact that she is not fully human. A very talented artist from Germany, Michalina Kalinowski, offered to create the Captain figure for me and she was given full creative control over her appearance and back story. While it was nerve wracking to put so much control into someone else’s hands, I enjoyed the element of surprise that has continued to shape the story behind this piece. Four years later, the miniature ship model display now seems rather small compared to all that has been built around it, however the subsequent spaceship models and entire cargo bay would not exist without their original inspiration." -Ara Bentley
Texan Ara Bentley became a YouTube sensation after starting her channel, Bentley House Minis. This extended spotlight exhibit features Bentley’s newest creation – The Captain’s Quarters. Begun in 2019 to accommodate Bentley’s growing interest and collection of miniature model ships, this piece features a sleeping area, display area for the captain’s model ships, desk, spiral staircase, stained glass windows, and books created by members of the Bentley House Mini’s YouTube Channel. Bentley is active on many social channels and maintains a robust YouTube channel, where one can find video tours and tutorials for some of her many projects including The Captain’s Quarters.
Connect with Ara Bentley
Ara Bentley is active on many social channels and maintains a robust YouTube channel, where you can find video tours and tutorials for some of her many projects. Connect with her via these links: