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Vandecasteele Shows Artistic Flair, Both On And Off The Court

Feb 10, 2022

Still just a freshman, Quinn Vandecasteele already has left a permanent mark on the Oregon men's tennis program.

As a member of the 10th-ranked doubles tandem in the country, Vandecasteele leads the Ducks into their next competition at home against Northwestern on Friday, in the UO Student Tennis Center at 1 p.m. And though there's still plenty of time for the second-year freshman to make his mark with the UO men's tennis program in the record books, Vandecasteele has already applied a personal touch to the Ducks' recently renovated locker room.

Vandecasteele decorated a bare wall in the locker room's lounge area with a nearly floor-to-ceiling painting of The Duck. The UO mascot is astride a pile of tennis balls, and swinging a racquet overhead.

"Even as a professional artist, people struggle to get a mural job because it's not easy to get people to trust you to paint on their wall," Vandecasteele said. "So it was for sure a great opportunity that the coaches let me do this."

The mural allowed Vandecasteele to utilize skills he's been honing as an art major at the University of Oregon. He hopes to pursue a degree in product design, and combine his dual passions for tennis and art.

Vandecasteele began experimenting with art around junior high; already a committed tennis player, he was looking for another interest to provide some balance in his life. He took weekly classes for a few years with his older brother Luke, also a member of the UO men's tennis team, but then let his interest lapse for a few years.

It was rekindled during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Vandecasteele and everyone else had a little extra time to themselves while practicing social distancing. He began working on his drawing more intently, and completed a couple of paintings.

Prior to the recent renovation, the wall in Oregon's player lounge held a white dry erase board. Vandecasteele did a line drawing of The Duck using a marker, and his teammates were so impressed they left it untouched.

Then the renovation was completed. Rather than rehanging the white board, coaches offered Vandecasteele the chance to paint the wall directly.

"There was a little more pressure," he said. "As long as they liked the design, though, if I implemented it correctly it would be good."

Vandecasteele prepared a digital mockup of The Duck with the tennis equipment, practicing skills he knows will pay dividends in the product design field. Then he got to work with his paint brushes.

"It's just a great way to relax, and I love being able to create something," Vandecasteele said. "Having the ability to make it myself has been cool."

Friday afternoon, Vandecasteele will demonstrate his creativity on the tennis court, when he helps the Ducks take on Northwestern. It will be the first home match for the Ducks since the completion of their locker room renovation, including the personal touch via Vandecasteele's paint brush in the lounge.