Robert Reeves

I have always been an artist — since my earliest days in rural Arkansas —  creating and leaving a legacy of my work in different locations throughout the country.  Through formal training and self-initiated searching, I’ve experimented with a wide variety of media including wood, metal, stone, pastels, acrylic and oil painting.  My work is strongly influenced by my education at Washington University in St. Louis where I received a Master of Architecture degree in 1967.
 Selected Works from Washington University Years
For the 20 years after graduation, I pursued a career as a city planner in St. Louis and San Francisco.  In both cities, I played a key role in formulating strategies for economic, social and physical development policies.  I also had the opportunity to play a major role in the planning for major urban experiences in both cities.
In St. Louis, as executive director and president of a nonprofit corporation called NewTown/Saint Louis Inc, I directed the preparation of concept plans for a cultural center called City Center which involved the renovation of historic theaters and other structures into houses for various arts organizations.  Today, the area is the center of performing arts for the St. Louis metro area.
                    Synthesis Plan for City Center Development Plan, St. Louis, MO
In San Francisco, I was project coordinator for a study out of the Mayor’s office that looked at options for renovating Candlestick Park versus building a new stadium near downtown for professional sports.  This study laid the groundwork for the construction of the San Francisco Giants bayfront ballpark that exists today.
                           Parking Studies for San Francisco Stadium Sites
In both cities. however, while doing my planning work, I was also pulled by the desire to create.  I expressed those desires through periodic sculpting or painting binges or building things.  In St. Louis, my desire to build was fulfilled by renovating apartment buildings.  In San Francisco, it was designing and building my own home.
The house I built in San Francisco
By my forties, I had achieved my dreams of a house on a hill in San Francisco and a successful career as a planner.  However, the experience of building my home proved to be transitional for me.  The visions of my future changed as I started designing and making furniture for the house.  I began experimenting with layering techniques drawn from my planning experience working with topographic maps and models.  And I found to my happy amazement that the work I was creating had some substance and originality and was eliciting a very positive response.
My Midcentury Modern home in the Desert
In 1990, I moved to the Palm Springs area seeking a scaled-down lifestyle, warmer climate and larger workspace to create.  I bought a classic 1961 midcentury modern house in the Cathedral City Cove neighborhood and converted the garage into a sculpture studio.
  My garage studio
I refined my techniques of laminating forms, experimented with different material and finishes and explored the visual and structural possibilities of lamination through a series of abstract forms.  I started a series of life-size anatomical sculptures, including my signature work “Rob” pictured below.
I experimented with form and structure for functional art works such as chairs and tables.  And I created a series of client-commissioned projects including sculptural installations, waterworks, garden structures and gates.  In 2010 I began producing multiple works from sets of templates for selected designs which has become The Contour Collection, described on another page of this site.