Ben Salus was born in Chicago's South Side in 1979. Ben received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, 2003 and his Master of Arts in Teaching from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. Ben's training focused on 2-D, classical masters techniques and contemporary illustration. Ben has also studied and practiced sculpture, ceramic arts, and screenwriting. During his time studying for his masters, he was he was awarded merit scholarships and a teaching fellowship. Ben has been working as an art teacher for all ages as well as a freelance fine artist for 15 years. He teaches late teen and adult courses both privately and in public workshops throughout the greater Chicago land area. His work has been displayed in galleries and other venues throughout Chicago, Israel, Haiti, London, Barcelona, and Paris. Ben's publications include IMB magazine, MyChicago, Patch.com, The Southtown Star, The H-F Chronicle, the Flaxman Library permanent collection, and the Chicago Sun Times. He currently has four pieces on permanent display in HAMOC museum and held past residencies at Fulton Street Collective and the Homewood Arts Council Gallery. Pilsen was his first showcase area. Later Wicker Park and Andersonville were the neighborhoods where he organized benefits with artists, musicians and break dancers. Money was raised for HIV support groups, nonprofit social work, and families who suffered losses to gang violence. Ben continues to use his work as a means to provide support for various social causes. Ben’s style from 2002-2013 was primarily mixed media collage painting. He later returned his focus to oil painting and illustration in an effort to bring his own children's stories to life. His subject matter expresses life, travel, struggle, and family through a surreal and dreamlike lens. His teaching aims to create confident and reflective students, able to explore and evaluate their daily surroundings and view their identity and trajectory as in a state of flux.