Growing up in Washington DC, Keiry Benitez has always been fascinated by art and dreamed of becoming a great artist. She attended S.A.I.L. (School for Arts in Learning) public charter school and was accepted at Duke Ellington School of the Arts where she auditioned for a spot in the Museum Studies Department, the only such program in the country. Her studies there have included learning about collections, registration, conservation, education and exhibition.
Keiry has been a dedicated member of the Museum Studies department. She has taken advantage of numerous opportunities to visit museums across the country including MoMa in New York and the DuSable Museum of African Art History in Chicago. Keiry has also been an exhibiting artist in Duke Ellington Museum Studies exhibits and in the Man Ray Teen Exhibit in 2010 at The Phillips Collection in DC, as well. While at Duke Ellington, Keiry has also developed a great interest in photography. Her admiration for fashion photographer Elias Tahan has inspired her to conduct her own photo shoots with the support of her peers.
Apart from her studies and activities at school, Keiry interns at the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, a stately neoclassical house with a circular domed portico and expansive gardens built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Custis Peter and her husband Thomas Peter and designed by US Capitol architect, Dr. William Thornton. At Tudor Place Keiry works on a range of projects, including workshops for area students and residents related to the social and cultural history of the original occupants of this historic house. Keiry is also an active volunteer in community service projects, including Food and Friends and SWEEP Jr. (Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program).
Keiry believes she has grown as a student and artist during her time spent at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She has been on honor roll and was also recommended and nominated for the People to People Student Ambassador Program. Keiry would like to continue her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where she hopes to major in Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design.