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This document represents the Senior Art Exhibition portfolio of Mikaela Benitez, which was exhibited in the Bush Art Center Galleries in the spring semester of 2023.

Semester Completed

Spring 2023


De Pere


graphic design, illustration, birds of western states, state flowers


Art and Design

Artist Statement

Living with my grandma for most of my life led to my appreciation for birds and flowers. She always fed the birds and built houses for them to nest in; this is where I often observed the different bird species that would flitter around. This project was built on my respect for birds, flora, and emphasized the importance of being united yet celebrating differences. I explored the distinct qualities of each state and created work that honored its state bird and flora. I examined the western region of the United States first.

My process began with hand-sketching the birds and flora. I then photographed each sketch and finished the work using Adobe Illustrator. The birds' colors represent the state's flag, and the colors of the flora depict the state's natural landscape. The birds and flora illustrate how they complement each other and demonstrate differences from state to state. I further developed my palette for the birds to ensure the colors would be aesthetically balanced and added contrast against the flora and background. I created a body of work that speaks to my connection with my grandma and the birds I grew up watching.


Mikaela Benitez

Mikaela Benitez: Senior Art Exhibition Portfolio