In December, we asked people to share personal stories of their experience in 2020. Here’s what they had to say:
By Kiersty Long
“The most powerful art in life is to transform pain into a healing talisman. A butterfly is reborn, blossomed into a colorful party!” – Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo is an artist who used her art to process her pain and to heal her heart. Her raw emotions undeniably bleed onto each canvas and you can feel her paintings. Kahlo has always been my biggest inspiration as an artist, and I summoned her strength to guide me through this tumultuous year.
Oh, 2020, where do I begin? This year can be described by many as uncomfortable, challenging and a year of loss. While we all felt isolation and fear of what is to come, our biggest common denominator this year has been grief. Whether we lost our jobs, separated from a significant other, became sick, lost a family member, or became divided politically, we all felt grief.
We have been forced to examine our roots. What truly makes us happy? What is our passion? What gets us out of bed in the morning? For me, the answer has always been art. 2020 has given me the gift of time. I used this time to paint, paint and paint some more. When I felt lonely, I painted. When I felt heartbroken, I painted. When I felt depressed, I painted. When I did not feel like painting at all, I painted. This had become my outlet and my greatest therapy.
The community of Gulfport has been extremely generous in giving me opportunities to create art and to make a living as an artist. What an amazing little town Gulfport is! I have always wanted to be a full-time artist and to bring joy into people’s lives through my artwork. Somehow, the year I thought I would remember as the worst year of my life, has turned into the year I was able to finally realize my greatest dream.
Some have taken up a new hobby and tried things they have never had the time to explore. I have chosen to dive headfirst into my artwork. This year was a year of discovering what makes us tick. I now am certain that art is something I can rely on to help me through the darkest of times. Art heals.
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.” – Frida Kahlo