The Power of Creative Spaces
My first real contact with the arts was in my high school studio art program. I didn’t know anything about art history, but I knew that my favorite part of the week was walking into our two-floor studio with its giant windows, creaky easels, and brushes caked with paint. The studio was a safe haven that gave us a sense of community and belonging. For two hours, we didn’t have to think of anything except the canvas in front of us–how to get that perspective right, how to change a moving shadow, or how to mix the right shade of blue. Every day in the studio challenged me to think differently, and to question the way I saw the world around me.
During my last year in the program, each student was assigned an artist to research and present to the group. I was given Cindy Sherman. That night, I sat down with a giant monograph and began to flip through it. I was completely dumbfounded and exhilarated at the same time. I had never seen anything like it! Though I didn’t fully understand them at the time, Sherman’s startling images awakened me to art’s unique ability to provoke and inspire. I ditched my plan to become a neuroscientist, and went on to study art history at NYU and Hunter College. And after working in museums for six years, I decided to return to school and begin my PhD in modern and contemporary art, with a focus on architecture and public spaces.
My initial passion for the arts, and for arts education, has not faded, nor has my belief in art’s essential role as a revitalizing force in people’s lives. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for RxArt this summer, and to help fulfill its mission of touching and brightening as many lives as possible!