From farm boy to art dealer, this Dixon native is impacting the country’s creative scene in ways his neighbors don’t even know about

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Ben Pendleton sits amid the art in his gallery.

Ben Pendleton keeps a low profile. Few people in Marshfield know who he is, although he’s lived in the middle of town since the early ‘90s. And most of them also don’t know about his treasure trove of art housed in the “old” Marshfield Christian Church, where he lives and operates a gallery.

But once you get outside of Marshfield, the story is a little different: Ben is a nationally known dealer of Western and Sporting art. But he’s careful to say he’s not an expert. “I would never go that far,” says Ben. “I’m knowledgeable.”

Art dealing wasn’t a childhood dream of Ben’s, although he does tie the Western element to growing up on a farm. And his interest in art also stemmed from an early age. He recalls his teenage years, complete with a job at a grocery store where he earned money for magazine subscriptions. “I would cut the pictures out of the magazines and paste them on my walls,” he says with a smile.

His walls are still covered in art these days, but much transpired between those early decorations and today’s masterpieces.