Grand View to Celebrate 125 Years with Iconic Mural

August 17, 2021

Grand View is excited to announce the addition of an inspiring 78 x 10-foot mural to kick-off a yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the university. Ben Schuh ’04 and Denny Kaven, retired Grand View art faculty, will collaborate on the project, titled “Linear Construction.” The inspiration is a timeline of highlights from the university from its days as an academy to college to the university offering advanced degrees. The mural is being painted in the Student Center.

Ben is a professional artist living and working in the Des Moines Metro. His large-scale studio is located in Polk City and he maintains another studio at Mainframe Studios in downtown Des Moines. Since graduating from Grand View University, Ben has traveled the world looking for inspiration and promoting his paintings. He has murals in downtown Des Moines, the Iowa State Fair, Firetrucker Brewery and more. He is a firm believer that the focus of his work needs to be quality over quantity and he achieves this by pouring his heart into his work.

During his tenure, Dennis Kaven grew an Art Department that became the largest small college art department in the state. Dennis says, “Being a part of Grand View's success was one of the best things in my life and I appreciate all that Grand View did to make it possible. I take great pleasure in seeing the students we taught go on to become leaders in their art careers and among one of the best is my mural partner Ben Schuh who is well known in Iowa and the midwest as an accomplished fine artist and muralist.  It has been great working on the concepts and ideas for the Grand View University mural." Kaven’s art has been represented in galleries in Des Moines, Chicago, Denver, Omaha and Hawaii. He is still regarded by many generations of art alumni as a pioneer in his generation.

Schuh says, "It's been nearly twenty years since I met Dennis Kaven and he changed the course of my life for the better. Before Grand View I expected to pursue math and science with a focus on engineering. It was Kaven and his role as the painting and design instructor that pushed me to succeed. It’s an honor to be back on campus to paint alongside a Grand View legend.”

There are many ways to get involved in the 125th celebration. The Grand View community is invited to participate in GV’s Oral History Project, attend Homecoming September 24-26th, or attend the Danish Gymnasts’ on campus performance this spring. More exciting events to come! Be sure to watch your email and check the Grand View alumni page for up-to-date details.