To get a sense of what makes architect Francis Xavier “Frank” Dumont tick, tour his home, which abuts Lake Sahara. View visited him there, just before the holidays.
Dumont is an architect by trade and enjoys history, travel, collecting items of interest and music.
He pointed out a piece of pottery in his collection. It was made by the Zulus. A little chest is from the 1820s, about the time Napoleon conquered Egypt.
“If you look at this, it’s like a sarcophagus (stone coffin), but it’s really a sewing box,” he said of the chest.
He has a collection of spheres — ruby zoisite, turquoise, amber from the Baltics, marine jasper from Madagascar and Petoskey stone, the state stone of Michigan. The remains of tiny seashells are visible on it.
“You’d never think that northern Michigan, freezing cold, was once at the bottom of a tropical sea,” Dumont said. “It’s a form of coral that’s been fossilized. These wash up on the beach.”
Another one, which looks like Earth, is native to Southern Utah. He has about 40 spheres total.
Dumont’s creativity surfaces in other ways, such as painting abstracts in watercolors. His pieces include “Sun God Riding in his Chariot” and hang on his walls. He is exploring his latest outlet as a playwright and his first effort, “Leonardo,” takes a look at one month in the life of Leonardo da Vinci.
Camille Duskin, founder of the Gateway Arts Foundation, connected Dumont with one of its 2010 scholarship winners, Daniel Werth. Werth, now a student at University of California, Berkeley, composed the music for Dumont’s 100-minute ballet titled “The Golem.”
“He truly is a Renaissance man, and we’re so pleased to have him (create) his ballet with one of our winners,” Duskin said.
These days, Dumont’s working on a new casino resort in the wine country of Endicino, California, called Coyote Valley. He’s also doing an addition project for an existing casino, Cher-Ae Heights Casino, which is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s the best casino site in the world, view-wise,” he said. “They’re called the Monument, these little stone islands with their sacred peak. It looks almost like Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil.”
What don’t most people know about him?
“That I like to have fun,” he said. “People think I’m more serious because I work a lot. But I love to go hike and swim, travel and tour. And my art, it never stops.”
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