• Benson students create artwork that will beautify Lloyd District

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    Benson student art collage

    Samples of the work created by Benson students that will decorate the Lloyd District. (Images courtesy Steve Curley)

    Benson Polytechnic High School is a long-standing neighbor of Portland’s Lloyd District. Like good neighbors, some of Benson’s students are pitching in to improve the livability of the area.

    Students in teacher Steve Curley’s media design class created artwork that will be used to decorate refuse cans throughout the Lloyd neighborhood. After months of work on the project, the finished products were inspected last week by Paul Comery of Go Lloyd, a non-profit that seeks to foster economic developments in the Lloyd District.

    “The artwork has greatly exceeded my expectations, these students are fantastic artists,” Comery said. “The students have done a wonderful job incorporating the themes and feedback we provided, and the final works will be amazing additions to the public realm in Lloyd.”

    Students sketched their concepts on paper, then created them on computers, using either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Throughout the creative process, they received feedback and guidance from staff at Instrument, a Portland-based digital creative agency, as well as Go Lloyd.

    “They were able to work with two professional groups, both of whom treated our students with the respect and dignity of a professional relationship,” Curley said. “They had multiple feedback sessions where their work was discussed, feedback was given and changes were made per the client's request.”

    About 30 art panels will be sent out for production in March, and the cans will be installed all over the neighborhood by July.

    “Working with Benson students on placemaking projects in Lloyd has been a goal of Go Lloyd for many years,” Comery said. “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to partner on a project that will bring the students’ art into the public realm and increase the cleanliness of our sidewalks. Our hope is this project can be a source of pride for all Benson students and increase their sense of ownership and inclusion in the Lloyd neighborhood.”

    For Curley, the project gave his students a real-world design challenge they could take on.

    “The fact that the work will be installed for long-term public appreciation is icing on the cake,” Curley said. “They are stoked.”