Before art movements like Dada, which sought out to completely destroy traditional art values, and Fauvism, which used scientific color theory to emphasize emotional responses over-literal interpreted scenes; art was a tool to understand and simplify the world at large. Eventually, art was put aside and considered its own study, completely removed from academia. Istanbul artist Ozlem Thompson remarried the fields with her organic, contemporary paintings.

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It’s not everyday that we’re confronted with the idea of legacy. Sure, we’re taught that actions have consequences and that what we do matters, but when was the last time you thought long and hard about legacy? When was the last time you reflected on your role in the larger world? Have you taken the time to consider how the heritage of your ancestors determined so much of who you are today? These are the questions painter and artistic director Jarvares “J.Q.” Franklin encourages us to ask ourselves.

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As I sat on the bench alone, strangers waved and smiled as if we’d crossed paths a thousand times before. A little girl asked to pet my dog and told me all about the King of Pops popsicle her Mom finally let her have on a school night. I sat feeling as if I’d stepped off the city streets into a small town escape. Swirled around the busy city of Atlanta, Georgia the (soon-to-be) 22 mile pathway invites people to stroll along restaurants, parks, and an amazing display of community art. 

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Can you imagine walking into an art gallery expecting to see paintings, but only seeing large photographs of everyday people instead? Artwork as realistic as the paintings created by German artist David Uessem could trick anyone into thinking they’ve just looked at a photo. Uessem is known for taking snapshots of everyday life and painting realistic portraits of the pictures with his own authentic twist.

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Since the 18th century, the industrial revolution industry has created a way of life that harms nature, from deforestation to air pollution. Many political advocacy groups, like the Environmental Defense Fund, have taken action to reduce industrial growth, while others have decided to let their voice be heard in a different way.

North Carolina based contemporary artist Brian Mashburn uses his artwork to express his feelings about the matter. Mashburn is known for his hyperrealistic oil paintings, which typically depict a post-apocalyptic world, in which animals habitats are encroached upon by human activity, and human beings are few in numbers. At first glance, his pieces portray beautiful scenes of nature, but the meaning behind his work runs a little deeper. The artist showcases the beauty of the environment by including animals and outdoor scenery in his paintings. He then brings you back to reality by displaying the negative effects of urbanization, while maintaining the fact that nature and industrial urban areas coexist. Though they exist in the same space, they appear to be on different scales.

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