Dan Billen created portraits of the eight men he cared for while working at a facility for the developmentally disabled as his senior project at Washburn University.
While working at the institution, he formed close relationships with these men and made small portraits of them as gifts before he left. Billen explains,
"I had poured my heart and soul into each one of the portraits, and they now represented the loving relationships I once had. I eventually showed them to my college painting professor who encouraged me to continue the project. Using the original collages as studies, I enlarged the smaller designs to 4ft x 4ft on large panels, using much of the same techniques used on the smaller ones. My hope was that people would see these guys larger than life and in brilliant color, like I always saw them. I'm using this series as a way of honoring these people, and to present them as important members of our society. These are people we should not turn away from simply because of their outward appearances."
Several of these men attended Billen's senior exhibition and were honored publicly, as Billen had hoped.