Artist As Antidote

Lesson for the day: Never underestimate the power of the arts.  

Teaser: these little paintings are on 4" diameter coasters, which I have submitted to the 2016 Coaster Show - pending acceptance, wish me luck!

Teaser: these little paintings are on 4" diameter coasters, which I have submitted to the 2016 Coaster Show - pending acceptance, wish me luck!

I was recently invited to participate in a group pop-up show titled Solidarity here in Los Angeles as part of Maiden.LA, a series of pop-up shows all over the city during the month of July.  The show was conceived after the horrible tragedy in Orlando, but in the following weeks, with tragedies all over the world ensuing, for me it became about solidarity in the face of all of these events.  In the wise words of the organizer:

This group of artists is a reflection of the great diversity that makes up this city...the exhibition encompasses the energy of Los Angeles, demonstrating a shared harmony and unity - a working dialog of acceptance - that comes from all its communities.
— Michael Freitas Wood

I'm not a political artist, but all these tragedies saddened me greatly, and I started thinking about my role as an artist, and whether it mattered or not, in the grand scheme of things. Then, I got a message from my friend Aynur Girgin Westen, which lifted my spirits. She had seen my announcement about the Solidarity show on Facebook and informed me that she, too, was in a group show also titled Solidarity in San Francisco!  The flyer for her show said:   

Changing the world one art show at a time:)
— "Solidarity" show flyer

Perhaps our greatest contribution in the midst of these uncanny times can be a celebration of diversity as artists band together to create shows around unity and solidarity.  Spreading joy and hope, rather than giving into the haters and fear-mongers, is a powerful thing and inspires me to enjoy life and celebrate community.

The necessity of art is to find those common grounds and to empathize.
— Antrese Wood (of SavvyPainter.com)
Art is a sanctuary...There’s magic...That’s what art is. It’s communal magic.
— Greg Decker