Art is My Weapon of Choice

I’ve always been an art junkie. Exploring the world for the pops of beauty and refreshing perspective. In high school I was introduced to a mixed media artist Romare Bearden and I came across a quote of his, “The artist has to be something like a whale swimming with their mouth open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs.” That really hit home for me because as a young adult I either had my head in a book searching for a different world to reside in or looking through a camera lens attempting to capture emotions. Everyday life was pretty blah but the world of books, graphic novels, and my film camera was endless, exciting, and fearless. I was able to find art, beauty, chaos, pain, and struggle in text and images. These art forms transported me to different places and allowed me to see things in a different way. That’s why art, in any form, is so captivating because it never means just one thing to someone. The way I see something is not the same way you will see something. Art allows us to make up our own definitions, stories and conclusions. 

In the month of June, there are so many things to celebrate like Pride, Black Music Month, Juneteenth or national donut day (lol). To me all of these things are commonplace in art and literature. Earlier this month I attended Ypsi Pride and they had some AMAZING spoken word artists. The word choices, inflection, tone, and pronunciation makes spoken word a golden art form. Creating images in the mind, telling a story but allowing the listener to illustrate. I stood there and snapped a picture but was not able to capture the full essence of their words, their story and their art. Instead I had to simply be in that moment and allow their art to wash over me and take up space in my mind. 

Art touches folks, moves us to tears, laughter, or deep thought. For me art is capturing a moment, tying it to a place in time and reliving the joy, anguish, or intrepidation. It’s holding on to something you’ve experienced but knowing you’ll never experience it the same way. Art is a love language that breaks through every barrier imaginable. Or as Bearden would say, “Art is the soul of a people.”

Britt Reed

Britt Reed

Black woman with locs, eyes closed, holding a peace sign, with a mural in the background.

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