The Room in the Trees.
Several years ago in a suburb of Los Angeles Sabrina and I started a conversation. We began at the high school where we were both students and became friends in fourth period, advanced art 2.
It had been over a decade since I had last caught up with Sabrina. Years she had spent traveling, publishing books and teaching. Years I had spent mostly in schools studying art and teaching. I had moved back to California to escape the cold of my third February in Chicago. Sabrina was visiting family.
We talked at length about how little we actually knew about the city we grew up in. Someone found that place and began creating. There were explorers and settlers. People fought over water, stumbled down canyons, named streets, planted orchards and raised families. We went to high school in the 90’s.
In the school’s back parking lot by the choir room there was an old discarded theater set. It was a single green papered wall with a hearth, very likely old enough to have witnessed the years we walked the halls as teenagers.
Roping the flimsy green wall onto the top of my aging beige Toyota Camry felt like the right thing to do. Of course we did. We had decided to make a monument in honor of, in remembrance of, in spite of, in gratitude for, in defiance of the city we had grown up in and the memories forever tied to it. This old theater set would be the start.
On a hillside overlooking the whole of down town LA were three trees. It wasn’t chance that led us to those trees but it wasn’t predetermined either. The triangle of trees seemed the perfect set of standards to support a space. The wall we saved from the high school fit exactly between the first two trees. A second wall was made from a roll of canvas I had used to cover my bedroom wall many years ago. Sabrina had a collection of found objects and pieces of past project that became the final wall and roof.
Once complete the room sat ready to be occupied. One little puff of grass sprouted from the ground as a center piece waiting to be surrounded. As the sun set Sabrina’s dad came by to see what we had done. The three of us sat in the room in the trees to finish the conversation and set a pattern for what would ultimately lead us to create this podcast.
The Room in the Trees is a space made from the scraps and accumulation of stories and places. Built for conversation, it was cleared out, set up and stands waiting for the raw materials of life and experience to be combined into something both spoken and material so story and expression can continue.
Sabrina Ward Harrison
Sabrina is the creator of 5 groundbreaking published books; the first one, Spilling Open, was published when she was 23. She has gone onto publish, Brave on the Rocks, Messy Thrilling Life, The True and The Questions and The Story is Happening.
Sabrina was born in Montreal Canada and moved to California with her family at 9. She went onto study photography and graphic design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
She has taught creativity worldwide for 2 decades with a belief she holds strong to, that, "we must create what we most need to find"
After fantastic years in Northern California and New York City, She is currently exploring the midwest in the wonderful city of Madison Wisconsin, which reminds her of her childhood in Canada.
Trent is an artist, teacher, husband, and father of three daughters living in Los Angeles.
Born and raised in California Trent is actually the one writing this description. He feels fairly uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person and would like to recommend the reader listen to the podcast in order to assess his character in more depth.
Trent received his undergraduate degree in painting and drawing from Brigham Young University and graduate degree in drawing and painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After three wonderful years in Chicago he moved back to Los Angeles to teach art at Santa Monica College and SMC Emeritus College. He continues to value unending summer and the overwhelming congestion and diversity of Los Angeles.