DeKalb Graduate Artwork To Be Featured In Nationwide Digital Exhibition (Copy) |

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 is studying 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 from across the country for digital exhibition.

“This year’s exhibition features high-quality student artwork exploring creativity, innovation in artistic creation and thought, critical thinking through research, 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 do 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 different fashions 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 took inspiration from history such as the Elizabethan court dress for inspiration and ideas.

Benbow used 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 front to back, 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 slated to launch later this fall.

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