Before Mark Huddle became a high-powered Chicago attorney who moonlights as an actor, he thought he might like to be a professional artist.
His professors thought likewise.
"In my late 20s and early 30s, I attended law school at the U of I, while also enrolled in the art college. I well remember the many days and nights I spent at my art studio in Flagg Hall," he says.
"Several other artists occupied the various spaces. The shared artistic energy invigorated me, as I returned to serious, committed art making for the first time in several years, with twice weekly critiques with terrific art professors. I worked on a large scale, sometimes 10 feet across, making thickly painted semi abstract, colorful paintings, most of which were not all that good, in retrospect.
"But they launched me on a path that several years later resulted in my acceptance into the University of Chicago’s MFA program.
"We had several parties in Flagg Hall, which many of my law school friends were gracious enough to attend and to participate in wide-ranging discussions on art and politics. I also recall somehow getting onto the grounds of the power plant to draw it, and having a security guard warily approach the car to question me. It was during the first Iraq war and he had received a call about a suspicious person.
"A second memory: long nights at my apartment on Locust Street prior to finals preparing for final exams with my brilliant and beautiful friend Julie, as we pared a semester’s worth of reading and lectures into the outlines that would help us with finals.
"One more memory: the moments before all campus boxing matches, waiting nervously in the basement with the guys who would work my corner, then emerging into the noise of the main floor to be gloved up and then make my way through the chaos and lights up into the ring."