Beth Cavener (born 1972), also known as Beth Cavener Stichter, is full-time professional studio artist residing in the U.S. state of Montana. Born in Pasadena, California, Cavener recently relocated to Helena, Montana, where she has built a collaborative studio, called Studio 740.
Cavener addresses controversial, potentially embarrassing subject matter head on and in direct opposition to the reputation of her chosen medium, clay. "The artist forms animals by hollowing out blocks of clay, giving her subjects a raw, unrefined appearance as if they sprang from the material itself". Cavener focuses her sculpture on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal forms. "This use of veiled anthropomorphism began in 2002." “On the surface,” says Cavener, “these figures are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding”. When creating her sculptures of animals, Cavener stated "...I borrowed the perceived purity and moral innocence of the animal image and imbued it with human complexity". In making these painstakingly modeled works Cavener has learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; “rely[ing] on animal body language in [her] work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits. Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions, both an invitation and a rebuke.”