USD Magazine Spring 2013

says Noé Olivas as he climbs aboard his dismantled 1967 Chevy Step-Van in the cool shadow of a maintenance yard behind Camino Hall. Well-worn by decades of use — from delivery truck to homemade RV— the white steel panel van has been stripped clean of its former lives. Bread and beds are long gone, replaced by wire brushes and bags of steel wool, makeshift work lights and the odd engine part under reconstruction. A stop sign, bent and repurposed as a wheel hub during the RV years, reveals the grass roots history this Chevy has motored through. His wooly mane nearly brush- ing the roof he plans to raise more than two feet, Olivas, a visual arts major who creates sculptures out of ready-made objects, gazes steadily at his most ambitious project yet. “ E X C U S E T H E ME S S , ”

by Trisha J. Ratledge

Photography by Tim Mantoani

SPRING 2013 15

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