I loved that the education at CAP always blurred the lines between disciplines. Though I was officially studying landscape architecture, I was at the same time exposed to the worlds of art, music, film, and architecture, and the program flowed in and out of these other disciplines so effortlessly that I struggled with the idea of, once I was done with my education, defining myself as just a landscape architect.
Art, in particular, was incredibly intriguing as it provided some much-desired autonomy and was always being redefined. I started painting immediately out of school and was always trying to find ways to incorporate or integrate my interest in art into my landscape architecture experiences. This integration eventually led to some great public art collaborations with a public artist named David Dahlquist in Des Moines, IA. We collaborated on several rest areas throughout the state of Iowa where we attempted to educate travelers on the history of Iowa through public art. Though public art partially scratched an itch, it was always total autonomy that gave me the most satisfaction and I ultimately found that through painting and drawing.
My approach to making art has never strayed too far from the similar processes or critical thinking strategies that I applied to design projects, and I bring the same rigor and work ethic developed at CAP. Around 2010 I was able to sign with a great gallery in Des Moines, IA called Moberg Gallery and that relationship led to some interesting exhibition opportunities throughout Iowa and other parts of the Midwest. Eventually as I built up a decent exhibition record, I decided to pursue an MFA in painting and drawing at the Herberger Institute for Design + the Arts at Arizona State University. Now living in Phoenix, AZ I am represented by Bentley Gallery, as well as Moberg Gallery, and have been lucky enough to exhibit my work throughout the Southwest, Los Angeles, and the Midwest.
I genuinely think everybody should spend at least one semester studying architecture/landscape architecture or design in general. The foundation this education provides can prepare anyone to lead not only a successful life but a purposeful life where one learns to understand that they are just a small part of a much larger whole and I am incredibly thankful for the education and lifelong relationships that were created during my time at CAP.
By Travis Rice, Artist, ’91
Travis Rice Studio