Artworks by DeKalb Graduate to Be Featured in National Digital Exhibition | The star


WATERLOO – The work of recent DeKalb High School graduate Oliver (Olivia) Benbow has been shortlisted for inclusion on the College Board AP National Gallery of Art and Design website.

Benbow graduated from DeKalb in 2021 and now attends Purdue University in West Lafayette, where he studies biochemistry. Benbow completed the piece as part of a portfolio for an AP studio art class at DeKalb.

His artwork was one of 50 pieces selected across the country for digital exhibition.

“This year’s exhibition features high-quality student work exploring creativity, innovation in artistic creation and thought, critical thinking through inquiry, process and practice, and excellence in skills, ”the College Board explained of its selections.

“Basically it’s about having multiple identities in one body,” Benbow said of his article.

“This piece was part of a portfolio for AP art and design. Students had to come up with a question that guided their entire portfolio, ”said Jessica Minnich, art teacher at DeKalb High School.

Students also had to come up with a question that motivated each piece, Minnich added.

Benbow asked the question, “How can I bring trans and queer culture to my community through my plays?” »Leads his wallet.

“How can I show multiple gender identities in one person? Was the question that motivated the selected piece, said Benbow.

“I wanted to use a different fashion and things that are attributed to trans culture and queer culture so I wanted to use things like ‘camp’ and fashion and different poses,” Benbow said.

He said his work featured “a lot of flamboyance” and that he drew inspiration from history, such as the Elizabethan court dress for inspiration and ideas.

Benbow used a pen and watercolor to create the piece.

“Oliver was probably one of my most prolific students of all time,” said Minnich, noting that Benbow completed five sketchbooks during the year.

“From cover to cover, every page is covered. They’re like masterpieces… people would stare at them for hours, ”Minnich said.

“He was so motivated. Everything was so awesome. He was always willing to try and experiment with many different mediums and colors. Everything was very expressive and very unique.

The website featuring digital signage is expected to launch later this fall.


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