Painting Our Own Realities in the New Year by Xochitl Alvizo

Incarnation, Goddess spirituality, Xochitl Alvizo, god became fleshA friend of mine once commented that my feminism is evident from the moment you step into my house. In reference to all the female images around my house, she noted that my space reflected a different way of being in the world. I had never thought of it actually, it was not a specifically conscious choice I made to be woman-centered in the books and artwork I displayed, I simply put up what I loved. But once she pointed that out to me, I appreciated the point it raised about what we surround ourselves with and what it reflects about the world we want to live in and help create. What do our spaces evoke for us? for others? Do they help spark the imagination, and if so, what toward?

While I have always been very conscious about how I create my home space, it has not been in the way my friend noted. I am hyper-organized at home. I am one of those people who love the expression “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It can be a difficult characteristic to live with let me tell you, as I tend not to be able to feel at home until things are all “in their place,” which I admit has made for a hard transition in these last few months! I always thought that organization was the most important part of what made a ‘home’ for me – that and having a guest room ready for welcoming visitors. But this last week, as I got a little time to organize my house a bit more, the importance of my artwork came front and center in a new way. Continue reading “Painting Our Own Realities in the New Year by Xochitl Alvizo”

Happiness is a Warm Space: Enchantment as Feminist Virtue by Amy Levin

Art can provide a balm for the modern soul – Claude Monet

Living in New York has its vices, and anxiety-triggering space is one of many. Though the city offers ailments just the same, whether they are in the form of meditation or medication, I’m beginning to believe the statistics delineating just how much more anxious us city-dwellers have become. But once in a while you catch a break.

This past Friday, for me, it was the free admission to the Museum of Modern Art. My favorite exhibition room of the MoMA is neither original nor surprising – Monet’s water lilies. The cool hues of greens, blues, and purples that spread across the triptych canvases so effortlessly interrupt the chaotic bodies roaming about the room, evoking a calm, liberating energy. My lungs expand, my shoulders relax. It is my opinion that more people sit down in this room more than any other in the museum.  These ameliorating spaces, which, using Monet’s words, provide a “balm for the modern soul,” not only lift us emotionally and physically, but they offer us something a bit more. . .metaphysical. The water lilies are just one example of the way that art can offer us a sort of spiritual uplift in, what most of us would consider, a secular space. Continue reading “Happiness is a Warm Space: Enchantment as Feminist Virtue by Amy Levin”

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