One of the persistent pitfalls of art discussion is the idea of “natural talent.” A phrase that commonly accompanies this topic is that someone was “born to be an artist.” This is not an inherently wrong statement, but it often leads people to discredit or forget about the blood, sweat, and tears that a truly great artist will pour into their craft. The idea that people are good at something because they were born to be skilled at it fails to acknowledge the many exceptional individuals who were able to overcome all odds in order to become great at what they do. Portraitist Marius Kędzierski might have a few words on the subject because he has to work harder than most to create his artwork. Kędzierski only has a partial right arm, he was born without hands.

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When looking at art, it’s hard to fully understand what the intention behind a piece of artwork is, without looking at the artist. When women during the Baroque period began painting women filled with rage and disdain, how much of that was for the simple demand for art, and how much of that was a projection of themselves? Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh pondered this in her book “Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power.” She asked the Rumpus, “What would it look like to explore my identity within my artwork based not on what people have done to me based on those identities, but based instead on what I love and I celebrate within those identities?” The main focus of Fazlalizadeh’s book is sexual harassment against women, the project beginning in Brooklyn, where she is based. 

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Brightness is something we all need right now, in a time where everything seems so dark, from seasonal depression to the stress of the upcoming presidential election. A bright spot can be hard to find when everything appears to be dreary, but artists can meld brightness into works with colors that can inspire from beyond the canvas; the lively colors stretching out into life. “My intent with color is to put a smile on the viewer’s face and to experience something new that they have never seen or felt before. Above all, color will always help to convey the message that I am sending out, it speaks to the heart,” said Southern Artist Adam Cook of Smyrna, Georgia, on the statement section of his website

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More than 690 million people go hungry around the world each night, according to the Action Against Hunger’s website. Due to the pandemic and the instability of jobs, Feeding America says more than 54 million Americans may be experiencing food insecurity. This is a serious problem that we are facing. To combat the issue and aid those in need, a global charity called Canstruction is making a fun way to donate and help local food banks around the world. 

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