Presidential Easter eggs

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Bobby Ellis
bobby.ellis@education.ky.gov

On April 2, 2018, a 4-by-2-foot Easter egg will show off the work of a student from the Kentucky School for the Deaf at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. 

Ben Shirley, a sophomore at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), was chosen to create a design that will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the event. 

“It’s pretty neat,” said Shirley. “I’ve never had anything go to the White House before and it’s interesting and different. I like doing things that are different.” 

The design, which had to use a specific color scheme set by the White House, features the twin spires of Churchill Downs, the Capitol, bourbon barrels, horses and a sun featuring a line from “My Old Kentucky Home.” Schools from across the country were invited to decorate an egg representing their state or territory. The eggs will be displayed as guests enter the event at the White House.

“I wanted to pick things that were important to Kentucky, that maybe people don’t know are important to Kentucky,” said Shirley, a student who is identified as gifted and talented in the visual arts by the school. 

“I basically just left it in Ben’s hands,” said Alex Meckes, the art teacher at KSD. “He’s so talented and I know he can do anything he sets his mind to, so I had complete faith in him when we got word that the project was coming in.” 

Shirley said he spent about three class days working on and creating the design. He said that he wanted the design to be simple and and minimalistic. 

“I didn’t want it too detailed, because simple is better, especially on something the size of the egg they’re putting it on,” said Shirley. “It’s detailed enough to just tell what things are and that’s what I want.” 

The design will go through a final approval process at the White House before being finalized. 

“It may change from what we sent in,” said Meckes. “But, I don’t think it will. Ben is amazing and very talented, so I trust that it will be fine and won’t need any changes.” 

The Easter egg design created by Ben Shirley, a sophomore at the Kentucky School for the Blind.
The Easter egg design created by Ben Shirley, a sophomore at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Photo submitted
Alex Meckes, the art teacher at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and Ben Shirley, a sophomore at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, work together to come up with a design to send to the White House for the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll. Shirley is identified as gifted and talented in visual arts. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Alex Meckes, the art teacher at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and sophomore Ben Shirley work together to come up with a design for a state egg to send to the White House for the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Ben Shirley works on creating a design for the White House Easter Egg Roll. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Ben Shirley works on creating a design for the White House Easter Egg Roll. Schools from across the country were invited to decorate an egg representing their state or territory. The eggs will be displayed as guests enter the event at the White House.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Ben Shirley uses a computer program to draw the twin spires at Churchill Downs for the Easter Egg design. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Ben Shirley uses a computer program to draw the twin spires at Churchill Downs for the Easter egg design. 
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Alex Meckes and Ben Shirley work on Shirley's egg design. The design was only allowed to use gold, green, yellow, pink and blue for its colors and had to be emblematic of the state. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Alex Meckes and Ben Shirley work on Shirley’s egg design. The design could only use gold, green, yellow, pink and blue for its colors and had to be emblematic of the state.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Alex Meckes, left, the art teacher at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and Ben Shirley discuss Ben's design for the Easter Egg that Shirley sent to the White House for the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018
Alex Meckes, left, the art teacher at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and Ben Shirley discuss Ben’s design for the Easter Egg that Shirley sent to the White House for the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 15, 2018

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