Roderick E. Stevens II is a mixed media artist with a larger-than-life, whimsical personality and art to match. Venture over to his booth (#222), and you’re likely to find a large-scale Etch-A-Sketch built for a giant, oversized typewriters and old-fashioned phones cleverly constructed of materials like paint cans and paintbrushes, plumbing pipes and drains, and printing press parts. This talented artist also paints contemporary photo-realism art.
Roderick grew up in small-town Arizona, cultivating a passion for everything artistic: architecture, design, painting, sculpting and filmmaking. In high school he began taking a painting class, and realized he had a passion and talent.
His other artistic love was cinematography and one scene in particular has stuck with him. The movie was “Atonement” and the scene focuses on a typewriter and the letters while someone is typing. This triggered the artist in Roderick and he was thrilled with a new challenge.
“I immediately wanted to build a massive typewriter, but I knew nothing about mixed media,” said Roderick. “It helped that I was actually in the middle of building my own house, so I knew where everything was in Home Depot.”
He built his first giant typewriter out of plumbing parts and it was 5 ft. wide by 5 ft. tall. “The first show I hung it at somebody bought it and I was hooked. At that point I felt invincible,” said Roderick. “I made giant typewriters, the phone booth constructed out of shower parts, large pieces of paper. The whole series I call my ‘Inner Child Series.’”
Roderick found passion in many things growing up and even today he is inspired by many different art forms. “A driving force for me in all of my artistic endeavors is joy,” said Roderick. “I have fun and I like to share that with people.”
The Celebration of Fine Art is a special show for Roderick, because as he said, “I enjoy the fact that you get to be here like you are at an art show, but its an atmosphere and clientele that are more accustomed to a gallery.”
See what Roderick is most excited about this year at the Celebration of Fine Art: