Seeing the Beauty in Simplicity

Although Dustin S. Hodges ’06 and Timothy M. Pittman ’06 shared a studio last year when they took the same

Although Dustin S. Hodges ’06 and Timothy M. Pittman ’06 shared a studio last year when they took the same silkscreening class, they did not share their paint.

While Pittman used a variety of bright, vibrant colors, Hodges stuck with one: white.

The asymmetry led to an ongoing joke between the two artists about how much they were (or rather, were not) influencing each other. By the end of the semester, Pittman was still using those bright colors, and Hodges was still in his self-described “white phase.”

The phase caused a little more controversy in Hodges’s Adams triple.

Before he became hooked on white, Hodges had painted and hung a landscape in his suite’s common room. His roommates and good friends Jeffery D. Dean ’06 and Peter R. Emmet ’06 really liked it because it used an Old Masters-style glaze, which Dean says “is more my taste in art.” When they came home one day to find it almost completely covered with white spray paint, it was a bit of an unpleasant shock. All that could be seen of the original painting was a one-inch remainder around the edges. According to Emmet, Dean could not understand why Hodges would destroy his own artwork. Hodges’ reply: the painting could be understood from its remaining border.

Dean was upset, and things were tense in the room for a while, but eventually Dean came around to Hodges’ viewpoint.

The disagreement hasn’t changed their friendship. The three do share, after all, a set of religious beliefs. “I had a powerful religious experience that changed my life during my sophomore year,” Hodges said, declining to elaborate. But because of that experience, he became more involved in Christian Impact, the on-campus fellowship where he met his Adams roommates.

Both of Hodges’ junior year roommates testify to his almost natural ability to be a good friend. “He has the intense ability to know when he should be present,” and when a friend would prefer that he not be, Dean said.

He still takes road trips with his childhood friends, including a two-week trip this summer that began in southern California and ended in Seattle. The trip was a good way to catch up, and it also provided inspiration for his current series of landscapes, he said.

For this California resident, everything comes back to art. Hodges even made a housing decision for aesthetic reasons, transferring to Adams his junior year. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his blockmates. They’d been placed in Mather, and, well, “It was just ugly.”