Our annual Spring Arts issue is one of my favorite issues to work on as editor. For one, it marks the imminence of spring, a huge relief for someone who experiences their fair share of seasonal depression. Furthermore, I love working on both of our annual arts issues. I am a big consumer of media. I love movies, books, visual art, and music, and it is because of their connection to the people I love that my life revolves around them.
In our previous Fall Arts issue, I wrote an editorial about how we’re all artists in that we all have the capacity to create something that at one time didn’t exist, something that can maybe help others see a world worth living in. To expand on that point, we’re all artists in that we’re all meaning makers. Every single person comes to some kind of conclusion about what makes life meaningful — whether that be religion, family, career, wealth, artistry, fame, etc. — and crafts a life around it. I have personally concluded that people and my relationships with them are what make my life meaningful. I will die content if I die loving my friends, partner, and family with the entirety of my heart.
Art matters so much to me because sharing art is a sacred part of all my relationships. My best friend Sydney and I are both part of AMC’s monthly subscription service, so we see movies together (including some exceptionally terrible ones) about once a week. My partner and I put countless hours into watching the entirety of “Twin Peaks,” and it has now become a foundational part of our referential vocabulary with one another. I have several friends in Atlanta’s DIY music scene, and there is nothing more fun to me than watching them perform live at some shitty dive bar or house show. Every month, I look forward to making magazine collages at the Bakery with my friend Divine, and some of my prized “possessions” are the custom playlists my sister, partner, and friends have made for me.
I love art because it connects me to the people I love through a shared appreciation of beauty and expression. I love to analyze and criticize art (I am a Virgo, after all), but it is the deep feeling of art that is so sacred to me. There are movies that make me cry no matter how many times I’ve watched them (looking at you “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”). There are books (“All About Love, Her Body and Other Parties,” and “Bad Behavior”) and poems (“Brother Alvin” by Audre Lorde) that resonate so deeply with me that I laud them as my own personal Bibles. When my friend Michael died, nothing — not even attending his funeral — helped me cope with his death like making a collage in his honor did.
To me, art is a part of the meaning of life because, while thinking and logic have their place, it is in feeling that we connect to the deep pleasure of being alive. Art helps me connect to myself, to my deep emotional core, and to others. Through our shared creation, consumption, and appreciation for art, we transcend the barriers that distance us from one another and form community on the basis of something far deeper than just paint on a canvas, words on a page, or pictures on a screen.