“I put a lot of energy into it and I have so many good memories of working on the house,” Cejas said, adding that she rediscovered and renewed her artistic self in the process. Eventually Cejas enrolled in art and design classes at Clark.
“Clark gave me the foundation,” she said. “It is a great school.”
After a couple of years there, she transferred to Portland State University and obtained a degree in graphic design in spring 2020, just as the pandemic was revving up. Her last PSU class was online only, she said.
Since then, Cejas has worked in design and branding for businesses including salons, spas and magazines, as well as pursuing her own painting projects. But, she said, there’s a special place in her heart for what’s called installation art — that is, large-scale, three-dimensional art that’s intended to transform a place.
Installation art is the opposite of an image inside a frame. It tends to be interactive and immersive, beckoning visitors to explore and experience with all their senses. Most top 10 lists of great art installations include Dale Chihuly’s Garden and Glass in Seattle. The Grant Street Pier and the Vancouver Land Bridge are local examples of permanent installation art.
“Space has always influenced me so much,” Cejas said. “It influences how all people feel, more than they realize. Your energy and mood can change, depending on the space, in very big ways — but also in small ways you don’t consciously notice.”