The Magoski Arts Colony is a hidden gem in Downtown Fullerton. Behind those enormous steel doors there is a community of local artists.
Brandon “Monk” Muñoz is one of the artists that makes his art out of wood.
Walking down the hallway there are all types of art forms, from paintings to Mosaic art.
At the end of the hallway you will find Monkwood the name of Muñoz’s studio. Inside you will come face to face with a shark that holds his hand tools.
Muñoz has been working with wood over 16 years and specializes in salvage and reclaimed materials.
His interest in building things started with making things out of Legos and from there it would blossom into working with wood.
“It [wood] found me as a medium,” Muñoz said. “It was a means to an end of paying my rent as a student and it was a skill that wouldn’t land me a normal job.”
Muñoz has been living in Fullerton for about 3 1/2 years. He lived in London for seven years where he worked as a pastor at Freedomhouse. Although working with wood was not his main source of income while living in London, he continued to build furniture for his home.
It was when he returned to California that he realized how much he loved working with wood.
“I discovered it by default, but when I really started to love it was when I moved back from London,” Muñoz said.
He adds that although he is not a fan of staining wood.
“I hate staining but I’ll do it once in a while for people.” Muñoz said.
Muñoz lives a few streets away from Downtown Fullerton and after attending it several times he knew he would want to be a part of the Fullerton Art Walk.
“I just started going to it and meeting new people. It’s a very open hearted community,” Muñoz said.
The inspiration behind his artwork comes from his spirituality, his family and going to new places.
Working with salvaged and reclaimed materials is a lot cheaper and it is also better quality wood but according to Muñoz what makes it interesting is the story behind it.
Muñoz loves telling his clients the story of where the wood came from.
“We live in the age where you just replace rather than repair and I think a story is a big part of that,” Muñoz said. “It helps sell the piece but it also helps it be more meaningful to somebody who is getting it.”
Besides his artwork being displayed at the Fullerton Art Walk it has been displayed at Urban Outfitters inside the Brea Mall. Muñoz work is also useful for every day use such as tables or chairs that he has designed with an artful twist which has also been purchased and is used by local tavern Hopscotch.
This summer Muñoz hopes to start wood workshops, open to whoever is interested.
“I want to do furniture repair where I can teach people that they don’t have to throw it away,” Muñoz said.
At the upcoming Art Walk anniversary he will be displaying a mid-century post-modern cabinet enclosure for a flat screen television.
For more information on Brandon Muñoz’s work you can visit his website: www.monkwoodstudio.com or visit him at his studio; 223/225 W. Santa Fe Ave. 92832.