March 14, 2022 • ISSUE 614

Roberto Elee Torres

The Art of Daily Ritual

Roberto Elee Torres is a student in MIU’s low-residency MFA program and works as the administrator for the art department. Fairfield residents have seen Elee showcase his designs at the EcoJam fashion shows, perform with some of the local dance and theater groups, and sell his pastries at the farmers market.
Elee grew up in Mexico and was living in the Midwest when he heard about MIU from a student friend. Elee was impressed with his friend’s increased sense of fulfillment and positive attitude and decided to apply to MIU. Although Elee always enjoyed making art, he didn’t know how to become an artist. So when he enrolled at MIU in 2007, he took courses in Maharishi AyurVeda℠ and sustainable living.

Wearing his costume design at the 2017 EcoJam fashion show

“I kept getting feedback from everyone around me that my way of expression was artistic, and that made me curious,” he said. “I took some classes at the art department and never left; I found myself there.” Outside school he thrived in the local performing and art scenes.
Elee has also benefited from his practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and found it helpful in reducing his anxiety. “TM offers me a chance to reset myself during the day and come out more refreshed,” he said.

Sculpture by Elee

Sculpture by Elee

Last fall he joined the new low-residency MFA program which allows him to focus on making artwork while still working for the department. “It’s helpful to be in the MFA program because I can bounce things off other artists, and the environment is very conducive to creativity and artistic refinement,” said Elee.
Elee loves working with recycled materials and is focusing on creating mixed media sculptures. He is interested in exploring the domestic environment and how everyday activities and rituals can create happiness and fulfillment.