Having a passion is not just a simple fondness for something, it is a strong and loving attachment to a subject. My entire life I have been passionate about the arts. Every day there has been a bit of time I’ve spent practicing and working on what I wish to spend my life doing. Although, when you spend time on something you love to do, it does not really seem like work. The arts have such a wide variety of choices: mine are painting, drawing, photography, music, and writing. Every one of these skills helps me to free my mind and soul. Whenever I am involved in one of these activities, I have no problems, worries or cares. I am too busy concentrating on the contours of the face, the colors of the leaves on the trees, the next line of my poem or focusing my lens on my camera for that close-up shot. My art envelops me. I’ve always felt a strong connection to being able to explain and express myself through colors and shapes.
Through my art, I wish to help others find themselves and find freedom in expression. I also wish to show support for things like politics and minorities. Through my art, I want to give people a sense of my creativity. And there are also charities I can help with my work. Being close friends with many of the artists that support the Light Bringer Project allows me to give to kids in need a way to be exposed to the arts. At the first sign of challenges in the economy, arts are the first programs to be cut in the public school community. Light Bringer raises money from the community to fund art programs in the poorer public high schools in Pasadena and Los Angeles County. Its mission is: To Build Community through the Power of the Arts.
Per its website, “Light Bringer Project is a nonprofit, Pasadena-based arts organization founded in 1990 by residents who were exploring the historic contributions that artists, architects and craftsmen made to the local environment. Inspired by these achievements, its founders imagined ways to bring more of today’s artists and their creative resources into the mainstream of community life.” They have received several awards for their work.
I first got involved with Light Bringer, five years ago when I was 13. You were supposed to be at least 16, but I wanted to be one of the artists in the Pasadena Chalk Festival so badly, I convinced the Director to allow me to enter my work. Every Fathers’ Day weekend, we are on our hands and knees for at least 12 hours per day, creating our best work in a 10’x 10’ square space of concrete pavement. We also must submit a 1’x1’ painting to be placed in the silent auction which raises money for the art programs for schools. Most of the time, I have not finished my masterpiece by the judging on Sunday at 5pm but rather 9 or 10 pm Sunday. For me, it is not about the prize, but the pleasure I bring to others and the nice comments I receive from those that pass by and tell me I will be famous someday. And whether I am or not remains to be seen. But I have helped raise money so others can enjoy art in their school and I have helped to give the community an appreciation for our art. And even though covered in chalk from head to toe, it has given me some of my fondest memories.
I have also worked with high-risk children who are not able to verbalize what is troubling them, but are able to draw it. There are many opportunities to help these children express themselves through art. There are also volunteer days (went with my mom to a LMU Alumni for Others program) which allow underprivileged children to have access to art supplies so they too can express themselves through art. I am passionate about art, no matter what form it takes. And as I have been accepted to School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I will continue my formal training in art but will always find a way to bring it back to and for the community.