So – let’s take this a step back even further…

Architecture School.

University of Oregon.


It was an incredible time for me – surrounded by incredibly Creative people.

It was truly there that I was so ecstatic to learn that, guess what?

Rules (via art) are meant to be broken!

This is where real discovery takes place.

We were designing a dance school, for one of our first studio projects.

To begin, we were doing some conceptual experimentations with dancers.

We had a photo of a dancer.

We interpreted the picture into something 2-D, & then something 3-D.

My dancer had crazy hair.

I replicated it as is, until my dear friend, John Lopez asked “What Was I Doing?!”…& Really drew the gesture of the hair.  ie:  took a pastel with his whole hand, and extended the drawing as it felt.

I was flaberghasted, & I don’t think I’ve ever been the same since.

It was this concept that took me through arch. school.


That was first year.

Let’s fast-forward to my thesis project.

Ironically, I designed another “dance school” of sorts, however, it was more abstract than that.  It was a “movement therapy center”.  My drawings were drafted articulately, however, they were embellished (again) by broad gestures with pastels.  They were presented on huge sheets of brown butcher paper.  And, to top it off, I had a sculpture I had made to embellish my design, made of a thick piece of wood, a 5′ piece of rebar, sticking through the wood, and lots of broken glass hot-glued on, “dripping” down into a glass bowl.

This piece says more to me than words could Ever describe.

Point being, my reviewers enjoyed/appreciated my design, but could tell my heart was in the wood and the glass; the large strokes of pastel on the over-sized sheets of paper.

They asked, “now, are you going to do architectural design, or are you going to do ‘This’?”, pointing to the sculpture.

Good question!

I really didn’t know.

All I knew is that I wouldn’t end up sitting at a desk/a computer all day, feasting on CADD.  No, this idea of “movement”, of questioning/thinking outside the interior of the box; of testing the edge/the limits/the boundary is what fascinated me, & I believe permeates much of the concept behind Messy Monkey Arts as well.  I continue to dabble there, & continue to be pleasantly surprised around each cliff edge.

Many, many thanks to the University of Oregon Architecture School, for fully encouraging this type of exploration; to travel in every sense, to live.  This is design.  This is life.

(Glenda Utsey’s 180’s (1997) rules!)  :), as does Alison Snyder & Wayne Jewett

thank you.


Posted by:messymonkeyarts

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