Growing up, I was lucky enough to attend a school where I took weekly art classes. Every single week from kindergarten to eighth grade, I marched in a neat line to the art classroom and worked on whatever project my incredible teacher, Ms. Rohlin, dreamed up for us that day.
My classmates and I also took weekly V.A.P.A, or Visual and Performing Arts classes, where we banged on drums, sang songs and even learned how to play the guitar. These classes not only helped me get involved in plays and musicals — which I would act in for almost 10 years — but also fostered a genuine love for art within me.
I have always been a creative person. I preferred reading fiction books to paying attention in math class, and I used to write short stories on wide-ruled, loose-leaf notebook paper — until I grew up a bit and graduated to Google Docs.
I have always loved taking paint or oil pastels to paper and just creating and creating until what was jumbled in my head is sitting there on the canvas in front of me, clear as day. And, of course, theater and live performance will always be near and dear to my heart.
When I decided on a theme for this publication, it didn’t take me long to land on art. I have always believed art serves as a mirror for humankind. That God or the universe blessed and cursed with this incredible gift of consciousness and self-awareness and that art is how we reckon with it.
From the oldest cave paintings and Indigenous arts to the most iconic paintings in the most famous museums in the world, art tells us stories about ourselves and our humanity.
And now, we are at a crux of time where technology is threatening one of our most ancient forms of expression. A time when artificial intelligence is overtaking industries that have relied on human creativity for years, and the very definition of “art” is changing before our eyes.
So, why not talk about it? How art means something different to everyone who does it and observes it. How our art has evolved from cave paintings and mosaics to painting and drawing and poetry and now to digital art and non-fungible tokens.
Art is an experience. It is a dance of passion and magic that translates into something odd, breathtaking or beautiful for the whole world to enjoy.
And I hope that you, as the reader and the observer, can enjoy the words and art that came together to create this publication, too.
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Contact Marley Penagos by email: firstname.lastname@example.org