Featured Structure Artist
Challenging herself to explore and adopt new art forms, contemporary artist Stevie Love has expanded her creative practice by taking on the role of adobe builder. In 2001, after attending a four-day workshop at Southwest Solar Adobe School in Bosque, New Mexico, Love and her husband Dr. Bruce Love decided to build their very own adobe house in Juniper Hills, California overlooking the Mojave Desert. Architecturally, the concept of an adobe house is an ancient building technique common amongst historic civilizations in the Americas and the Middle East. The term “adobe” is Spanish for mudbrick or Arabic for brick. Honoring the traditional techniques of adobe building, Love and a small crew hand-sculpted each brick and structural element of her adobe home. Throughout the seven years Love constructed her adobe home, she photo-documented the turbulent yet immersive experience constructing the home, as photographs displayed in this exhibition.
From laying the foundation to picking tiles, the Loves put in a great amount of research and effort in building an authentic yet personalized adobe house. When building the foundation, walls and overall base structure of their adobe dream home, Love committed to only using materials within walking distance from the building site. Love also made sure to align the structural orientations of the house with the Earth and sky axis, taking the seasons into account just as the first adobe builders once did. Furthermore, throughout the Love house, one finds design components from a diverse and international pool of influences. For instance, the threshold to enter the structure is fashioned with ancient wooden doors from India. As visitors cross the entryway, they are met with an alcove (a small nook or cut-out in the wall), the Loves decorated with saints and angels to protect all who enter the home. In the master and guest bath one finds Japanese and coin tiles, fossils, and Chinese half-boulder sinks. In the Loves adobe residence, the list of obscure decor goes on — every cranny, cabinet, and doorway in-between tells a unique story.
Outside of hand-building her own adobe home, Stevie Love is well known for her self-declared addiction to acrylic paint and its ability to create autonomous forms. She is widely recognized for her paint-sculpture hybrids, inspired by intense energy, nature, visual culture, and open experimentation. Love earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from California State University, San Bernardino and her Master of Fine Art degree from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been featured in private and public spaces across the United States, Asia, and Europe and can be found in the permanent collections of the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA, and the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA.