The director of the clinic approached me because he had seen another piece of mine in another health setting and wanted a custom piece for their pediatric waiting area. A meeting with staff revealed that they wanted to embrace a theme that reflected the nature of the area surrounding the clinic, specifically the Minnesota River Valley.
I took a walk through a refuge along the river and observed a turtle lay some eggs in the sand; a frog who jumped across my path; a raccoon who spied on me from his perch high; a beaver lodge (although the beavers remained concealed), as well as numerous birds and other types of wildlife. While anthropomorphizing these critters, I assigned each one a certain obvious power: beavers cut wood; turtles are strong; frogs are very flexible and have long legs; woodpeckers can make holes and nail stuff; owls are very smart though sleepy; and raccoons are very crafty and good with their hands. Then I contemplated what they would build if they could all work together. And as I often do, I slept on it. In the morning, the answer was apparent: Why of course!! They would build a treehouse! As so was born Riverside Clubhouse.