From the ages of 11–19, I spent most of my life at an art studio on the border of Missouri and Arkansas. Never did a color wheel cross my path, and never did I spend one second reading criticisms from old decrepit men of my favorite pieces. I simply just knew what spoke to me.

I was 17 years old and standing in the middle of the Museum alone. I had stumbled my way into the impressionism room and was dumbfounded.

“These can’t be real” I thought “These simply can’t be real” as I moved closer to what seemed to be Paul Gauguin’s “Vision of Paradise.” As I did, it seemed to come alive with colors I had never before seen in my history books. I looked to my right to see other pieces from another one of my favorite artists, Mary Cassatt. I thought I was in a dream- never in my life did I think I would get to see the most precious pieces of art I secretly held so close to my heart.

Art had been a safe haven for me. I was allowed to express my greatest fears, my deepest intrigue and the boundlessness of my heart.

It was at that point I turned directly to my right and saw myself for the first time. I found myself starting into eyes that I knew had been painted by someone I can only describe as a soul mate of mine, Vincent Van Gogh.

So, I tell you — We do stand on the shoulders of giants.

That moment made me realize what an artist truly is. It is simply some who loves art. Someone who has at some point in their life — found themselves, staring back at themselves, and were touched so deeply that they would never forget again what that means.

I grew up with art always being the main focus in my life. What I’m most interesting in cultivating is a deep connection between art and science.

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