Ben Volta headshot

Ben Volta

Ben Volta works with public school teachers and community members to develop creative methods that link art to specific areas of learning. Together, they initiate students to recognize the importance of their own ideas, and they set out to express a mergence of difference within a collective focus. His projects combine academic learning and life skill development with an audacious aspiration to create great art within an unexpected context.

Emoji Energy by Ben Volta, photo by Tim Kyuman Lee

Emoji Energy, 2012-2013

Ben Volta partnered with AAI’s Youth Arts Workshop, PECO, and the Fabric Workshop and Museum to create a public artwork that wraps a large section of the Callowhill Substation located at 11th and Callowhill Streets. Students in the Youth Arts Workshop were invited to explore the history of electricity, electricity as a utility, electricity and the human body, and electricity as a creative metaphor for conflict resolution. The imagery of the project in turn reflected the energy and ideas of these young artists and the booming creative energy found throughout Chinatown North. Ben Volta’s work has welcomed others to see industrial space as a potential access point for creative ideas.