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Des Moines Arts Festival® Announces Benjamin Frey as 2015 Festival's Featured Artist

May 21, 2015

The 2015 Des Moines Arts Festival® is honored to announce Benjamin Frey as the 2015 Featured Artist. Benjamin revealed his original artwork, Across the Horizon, along with the 2015 commemorative poster this evening at the Des Moines Art Center as part of the Festival’s 2015 Preview Celebration.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben back to the Festival for the second year, and excited to share his work Across the Horizon,” said Stephen King, Director of the Des Moines Arts Festival. “Ben’s contemporary piece draws upon images from the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge along the Principal Riverwalk, creating a moving visual representation of one of Des Moines’ most recognizable landmarks.”

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 Arts Festival has a reputation as one of the best festivals in the country, and I’m excited to return.”

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.

About the Des Moines Arts Festival®

The Gold Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival® is a three-day, annual arts and culture Festival the last weekend in June.  The free-to-attend Festival invites you to 'go where it takes you...' by engaging with 195 invited professional visual artists, emerging Iowa artists, the cutting-edge Interrobang Film Festival, live music, performing arts, interactive arts activities, award-winning community outreach programs, live artist demonstrations, artisan food, and beverages for every taste.  For more information please visit us online at desmoinesartsfestival.org or socialize with us on Facebook at facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival, twitter at @DMArtsFestival and Instagram at desmoinesartsfestival.  #GoWhereItTakesYou #DMAF2015