Janice Balog


Janice grew up in New England, but her early years were anything but art centered.  From an early age, Janice knew she would grow up to work with animals. At a Girl Scout Mother's Day celebration, a young Janice got up and thanked her mother for allowing her to keep her 50 mice, 30 hamsters, 30 gerbils, parakeets, parrot, guinea pigs, fish, rabbit, dog and cats.  It never got any better as the chickens arrived during her high school years.  From dissecting frogs caught in the local pond at age 9, to reading encyclopedias for fun in middle school , to joining the Math Team in High School, Janice was a perfect science geek. 

She attended Purdue University in Indiana with the goal of going on to Veterinary school.  Somewhere along the way, vet school became less important and animal disease research took over her interests.  After earning a B.S. in Animal Science at Purdue, Janice returned to New England to earn a M.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Rhode Island.  One final stay at Purdue earned her a Ph.D. in Animal Physiology, which she applied to the study of poultry.  A job in the unfamiliar southern state of Arkansas (#1 broiler producing state in the U.S.)  with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service was the perfect opportunity for Janice to indulge in her passion for scientific  research in poultry production and  diseases.  While working on the University of Arkansas campus with USDA, she met and married Dr. Paul Benoit, who himself has roots in Vermont (Burlington and Enosburg Falls).  A wonderful son added to the happy family of displaced Yankees.  Janice soon became an international expert in the field of poultry right ventricular hypertension (ascites).  Then an exciting career of more than 13 years came to a crashing halt when Janice contracted a severe poultry fungal disease and was forced to retire and move from the area. 


In 2005, Janice and her family moved to Lyman, NH to keep her mother company and to keep Janice away from the warm southern climate that promotes fungal growth.  Retirement did not suit Janice well, but she learned to quilt and started making  jewelry.  It was only after her son wanted to take a pottery class at the Littleton Studio School, did Janice find her new passion.  Her son stopped taking classes after a couple of months, but Janice was addicted.  It was a difficult transition of analytical scientist to artist potter, but she made the leap, with the help of many notes, on which she tries to describe techniques and final products, with limited  results.  Her fellow pottery students at the Littleton Studio School never fail to get a laugh at her attempt to be a scientific potter. 


After several years of classes, Janice finally decided that she had better start selling some pottery or move into a bigger house.  The ARTS Gallery is the perfect place to showcase Janice's pottery and beaded jewelry.