BY IAN ADRIAN NAL
From the first caveman who recognized the power of the pigment and drew on a cave wall or arranged rocks in a field, to our current human inception, there has been some artistic capability entrenched in all of us. In some, it is benign, and in others the creative power can be explosive. The ability to express our emotions tangibly is the power that binds us as higher species.
Not everyone is able to express themselves in a transcendental manner, but is does not mean that we all can't create art on some level. Some may not have access to the tools to create, some may be afraid of expressing themselves, and for many others, the daily struggle to survive takes precedence over being creative.
Art has the power to challenge the way we think or change the way we perceive the world. "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso showed us the gore, tragedy and chaos of war, not the glory. With "The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali, time did not stand still, it was no longer linear, it became visceral. As a child, these two paintings were etched in my memory and encouraged my desire to be an artist.
I'm from a developing country and the art department was minuscule. The tools of the trade were scant - brushes were splayed, we had to hide paint in order to complete projects and we painted on Bristol board - Third World Art. However, we had a passionate teacher who taught us the rudimentary skills of mixing and brushstrokes. She was always encouraging, which made the few students persevere. I painted through high school and junior college, but unfortunately, I had to follow the pragmatic road and study math and biology to further my education.
Life happens, and we get caught up in the sundry business of paying bills, which take precedence over the creative process. I have not painted since my college years but I have always yearned to do so.
Recently, I attended a demonstration for Art of Everyone. I was hesitant at first and unsure of my skills. However, the director artist began to guide me using a laser light and his voice. The lines were mine! The strokes were mine! A part of me was etched onto the canvas. I felt awake with a rush of joy and passion that I haven't felt in years.
As the evening progressed, many guests took turns in completing the communal work. It was a treat to see the faces of children light up as they painted and were being connected to a part of the community. With Art of Everyone, we become a literal extension of a fine artist. Everyone can participate, and everyone can be engaged. No longer an elitist activity, art is now for everyone - The Democratization of Art.