Featured Artist

Across the Horizon by Benjamin Frey

The 2015 Commemorative Poster was unveiled at the annual Preview Celebration on May 21 at the Des Moines Art Center. Virginia mixed-media artist, Benjamin Frey was celebrated as the featured artist, along with his original artwork of the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge, Across the Horizon.

About Benjamin Frey

Benjamin has been a professional artist since 2003, but has been involved in art for most of his life; his father and grandfather served as early influences. “My early artworks were representational, landscape paintings,” said Benjamin Frey. “I was first introduced to the idea of collage through a professional artist who became my artistic mentor.” Benjamin begins his artistic process by layering papers and pages from antique encyclopedia and schoolbooks that relate to the theme of the piece and that will create an interesting visual texture to interact with the foreground. Over this, he creates a field of color with washes and glazes of acrylic paints and then seals the papers with a varnish. Once this background has dried, he draws with watercolor pencils and lithographer’s pencils (a blend of pigment and hard wax) and manipulates his drawing with brushes and tools. Finally, Benjamin varnishes the piece using an acrylic polymer varnish. “I like to draw things in motion, and when I first saw the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge I found it dynamic. I loved the contemporary architecture and the way it allowed me to create art with objects moving in space,” said Benjamin. “’The Des Moines Art Festival has a reputation as one of the best festivals in the country, and I’m excited to return. I appreciate how well educated guests are about contemporary art.” Benjamin’s work have won many juried competitions throughout the past several years and can be seen in galleries in New York, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

Purchase your commemorative poster today at any area Younkers Store through June 25 and then on-site at the Festival June 26-28.