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My story begins in what was once an artist’s commune, the Monterey area, an unending canvas of serene beauty. I vividly recall the vibrant colors and the fragrant air as I sat along the coast, watching the crashing waves bleed into the Santa Lucia Mountains, the cool breeze blanketing my skin, imparting endless inspiration. Over two thousand miles east in Savannah, Georgia, I met Florence Martus as her bronze body stood loyal to the passing ships. I wandered the streets lined in Magnolias and careening moss: rich art, architecture, and long history filling Savannah’s corners.
Early on, I discovered the gift of transition. This adventurous life has weaved eras, connected disparate places, and fostered a heart that pulses for immeasurable beauty in the most divergent of places: empty buildings become caverns of stories, brick roads provide historic echoes of a “once upon a time” gone by, and careening waves sing sweet songs of serenity.
Just around the country’s southeastern bend is a city that has never known the word “dull,” New Orleans. Residents dance to live jazz in the dark hours of the night, dining on Beignets and Bloody Mary’s in the inspired French Quarter, with trolleys rolling their way down St. Charles Street. New Orleans encompasses everything from cultural traditions and history to art that has proved boundless to state lines. Nine hours north is the “Show Me State” and its most famous city, St. Louis. Here I spent three years developing myself artistically through immersion and instruction. I danced with the Broadway cast of West Side Story and created art that stemmed from my love for the city itself. I breathed in St. Louis’ essence, living on old streets with tales of cultural differences and racial divides brought together through the creation of new buildings, homes, and murals.
It was bittersweet coming to the heart of the midwest, Cincinnati. Here, my arts career changed course. This queen city surprised me as one rich in culture and beauty; diverse in the arts and architecture with everything from Byzantine and Gothic to Deco; Churches and Synagogues with Middle Eastern influences; and city parks abounding in natural beauty.This stunning city has been so influential in my walk and afforded me the opportunity to attend an Art History based tour of Europe. Prior to that trip, I felt that I wanted a career in art history, but eventually coming face to face with Van Gogh in his self portrait at the Musee d’Orsay and wandering the Rodin gardens in a quiet solitude confirmed my position. The echo of my heart rang out in the simple fresh air of Provence, boating along the Seine, biking through the Gaudi-inspired streets of Barcelona, and attending Palm Sunday Mass at La Sagrada Familia. I was fortunate enough to discover not simply a passion for the history of art, but a passion for creating it myself.
As distinctly different as these all cities are, they united me through art. Art, that whether created by God or man, has given me a unique sense of “home,” even reminding me of the artists that have spanned generations in my family. While I have admired their adventures, and found adventures of my own: walking these city streets, touching walls and mosaics of profound beauty, drowning out the sound of the world around me as I steal moments in the eyes of Van Gogh.; Now perhaps, I can settle, knowing without a doubt what I desire to do, what I’m supposed to do – connect life and art.
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