Bill O'Donnell ~ Many Rooms

The creative collaboration has morphed into a fundraiser for the upcoming Ragdale benefit . All of the former residents were offered a choice of 3 images to "remix" and those will be available for purchase at the benefit. Some of the images have been posted on the Ragdale Facebook page, where I saw Bill O'Donnell's amazing interpretation of the landscape photograph.

Original file of the view from the Ragdale house overlooking the 
 prairie landscape in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Here is Bill's rendition of the image. He "nailed" the Ragdale experience for me. Many artists have taken their inspiration from the surrounding landscape. I asked Bill if I could feature his intriguing work after I checked out his website.  What follows is his Many Rooms portfolio...


Divine Number

 In Bill's words...

"These pictures are shot in a rusting tin dollhouse. At once both implausible and convincing enough, the setting is a fitting laboratory for the questions treated. The pictures address three formal concerns of the Western philosophical tradition:

Knowledge, Conduct and Governance"



"How do we know what we know?

How might one live a virtuous life?

What is the relationship between the individual and society?"







  "Through the use and reuse of a limited set of props, I’ve focused on the fragile nature of accumulated wisdom, the acquisition of some moral compass and the difficulty of negotiating the threshold between the public and private domains."




                                      Bill has also been the beneficiary of a Ragdale residency.

 I can't say enough about the organization and how it has contributed to so many artistic endeavors. I am including some information about the upcoming "unveiling" of the Ragdale house, designed as the summer home of Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, and one of the most complete examples of a turn-of-the-century retreat.  The party/celebration is going to be a blast.  If you live in the Chicago area and care about the arts, please consider attending what promises to be an amazing evening.

May 5, 2012       

Kick up your heels at this annual fundraising event with ragtime music, roaring 20’s décor, a silent auction and the grand re-opening of the Ragdale House, following a year-long $3 million restoration.  Ragdale House, the summer residence of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s artistic family, has been painstakingly restored to its 1926 condition. The evening benefits the Ragdale Foundation, the non-profit artist residency that has provided artists with time and space to pursue their creative work in an uninterrupted environment for over 30 years.  Funds raised at the benefit will support the residencies of writers, visual artists, composers and interdisciplinary artists.  For further information, click HERE.

If you can't make it to the benefit, consider applying for a residency. The deadline for fall residencies is May 15th. Click HERE to learn more about the application process.