Benjamin Wills creates art that functions as metaphorical portraits of American institutions, such as penal systems. His work coalesces around nostalgia, the environment, and social justice. Wills often relies on collaborative engagement for his works to be realized. In this way, his work depends upon the participant-collaborators as much as upon Wells, erasing and blurring notions of the artist-as-author and morphing into the artist-as-facilitator. The resulting institutional portraits are bolstered through this collaborative process, featuring nuance and insight from a variety of stakeholders. Wills provides space in his projects for participants to express creativity and longing, and to experience themselves in the role of artist.