On Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House and a portal back to childhood

I love how smartphones don’t let your archived photos just sit there collecting digital dust. They bust them out into funky, sassy, emotional, and even hysterical little videos highlighting both the random and the remarkable, like that time I spoke on creativity and my own creative process at famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House on the University of Chicago campus. That was actually three years ago today!

I had encountered their director of audience development when I was showcasing at the Printers Row Art Fest for the first time back in summer 2019. It was my biggest fest yet at that time. I had bought myself a new pop-up tent and everything. Definitely a sign of commitment for me! 


Heike Rass (such a lovely lady!) dropped by my tent and lingered a bit, bought some earrings and chatted with me some. Then she asked if I’d consider coming to speak on creativity and my own creative process before Robie House’s subscription members.

“Me?” I said. (Quite annoyingly so to my memory now. Why NOT me?)

“Yes, you!” she said smiling. 

I’m sure I then said the equivalent of “Heck yeah!” 

I was super excited! She said to also bring my work to be set up for the discussion and possible sales to members. She didn’t have to tell me twice! I went out on that chilly, misty night (not unlike this very night), set up and then spoke extemporaneously on the topics. It was a genuine, effusive rememberance. Like a seance! Seriously. It felt like I was recalling and remembering … me. Connecting the dots back to childhood in New Orleans and all the the things I did and didn’t get to do creatively in that uniquely creative city.

No wonder I’ve since started telling folks that I’m looking for the portal back to that unrestricted time for creativity, when you could play in mud, crush flowers in water trying to make perfume, cut out cardboard soles and cover them in old towels trying to make your own house slippers, and string together hard, brown seeds from the neighbor’s honey locust tree to make your first pieces of jewelry.

Man, those WERE the days. I’m going back whenever and however I can! I’ll leave the door open for you. 

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