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Art can heal us

This week, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the mesmerizing performance of "Beautiful The Carloe King Musical" at "The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities". This exceptional musical delves into the life of the talented artist, King, and traces her journey leading up to the release of her renowned album, "Tapestry," which, in my humble opinion, is a masterpiece. It is from the depths of her heartache caused by her husband and writing partner's unfaithfulness that this remarkable album emerged. The betrayal she encountered ultimately fueled her creativity, as she once believed that she could not compose without him. Strangely enough, many of the songs on the album "Tapestry" might have never been born had she not suffered the heartache.

Before immersing ourselves into the musical, my husband and I took to the art galleries, where we marveled at the works of Emilio Lobato, a gifted Colorado artist. As we explored the gallery, an interview played on a screen, in which Lobato discussed how his life experiences influenced his craft. From his isolation in a small town to the discovery of his true identity as a gay man, and the devastating loss of his wife to breast cancer, his art became a reflection of his journey. We perused the gallery once more after watching the interview, and the stories behind each piece unfolded, each one bringing up new emotions. One particular piece struck a chord with my husband, whose eyes welled with tears. He stared at the piece and stated, "He really captured the love for his late wife in this one". The profound impact of art on our minds and emotions cannot be overstated. Whether we actively create or simply appreciate art, our brains undergo a transformation. Scientific research has shown that engaging with artwork triggers the activation of multiple brain regions associated with emotions, memory, and visual processing. The brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for activating feelings of pleasure when we encounter aesthetically pleasing stimuli. This phenomenon explains the sense of joy and inspiration we often experience in the presence of beautiful artwork. Furthermore, the act of creating art fosters neural connectivity and enhances cognitive function. Different areas of our brain collaborate and communicate during the creative process, resulting in better problem-solving skills, enhanced memory, and greater self-expression. Art also provides a unique avenue for self-reflection and introspection, enabling us to explore our thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences in a nonverbal and symbolic manner. In this way, art serves as a therapeutic outlet, promoting emotional well-being and releasing stress. Whether we are creators or admirers, art possesses the remarkable ability to reshape our minds and broaden our perspectives, unlocking new realms of endless possibility.

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