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Issue 13 - June 2022

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02 CONT 04 05 06 Impressum Editor s Letter The Ballet Body 08 10 14 Unconscious Drawing Bollywood and the BJP Helena Mertens Interview 16 26 32 Filoo Interview Queer Buddha Romina Alves

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03 38 54 ENTS Community Features 56 About Culturally Open Call

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THE CONTRIBUTORS 04 Executive Director Isabell Sliwinski Art Director Alison Chen Editor in Chief Aparna Prabhakar Design Syed Bukhari Javier Souza Marta Pakiet Jounalists Sreya Srikanth Dorian Shine Zaenab Najeeb Featured EL Rodriguez Queer Buddha Filoo Helena Mertens And All featured artists and writers from the Culturally community

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MODERN R AISSANCE CREATE AL A NOTE FROM AND APAR THE EDITORS MODERNR Culturally Arts Collective is a community for arts advocacy we aim to increase accessibility and inclusivity in the art world As two young artists we are excited to be a part of Culturally s monthly art magazine Modern Renaissance In this publication we feature creatives of all ages and nationalities exploring aspects of writing design and visual art It is absolutely insane to us that it has been a year since we put the first issue of Modern Renaissance out into the world Over the past year so much has changed with the world From wars to space exploration to a whole host of new COVID variants we ve seen it all We ve heard the stories of artists from across the globe and we ve seen how artists make art their own Every unique style medium and perspective comes together to create the ever changing diverse world of art that we know and love As everything around us has developed so has Modern Renaissance this magazine has grown and changed with us and we could not be more grateful We want to thank everyone who has made these past thirteen issues possible We look forward to watching Modern Renaissance continue to evolve Alison Chen Art Director Aparna Prabhakar Editor in Chief

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06 BODY THE BALLET BODY By Aparna Prabhakar Imagine being a young child in dance classes You fell in love with dance at an early age and as you watch the older dancers you know that dance is all you want to do with your life But there s an invisible barrier between you and your dream a barrier that is fabricated and enforced by the stereotypes and biases ingrained in every member of the global dance community every teacher peer and professional subscribes to the myth of the ballet body To many dancers across the globe this is a harsh reality Children are raised to believe that they will never succeed as professionals due to the way they look This mindset is no new phenomenon especially in the world of ballet Early choreographers and ballerinas who paved the way for the future of the art form perpetuated the concept of the ballet body opting for long legs short torsos and lean figures over other body types This can be seen in the work of landmark choreographer George Balachine Balanchine s preference for thin female dancers continues to be well known in the world of dance today the dancers he cast in lead roles all bore the specific aforementioned body shape THE WAY YOU LOOK

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07 instructors and critics This simply furthers the sense of perfectionism that already exists in many ballet schools and companies dancers push themselves to the limit and beyond in an attempt to satisfy the pressure they feel In recent years prominent dancers have spoken out about their experiences with body shaming during their time dancing with major institutions such as the Miami City Ballet and the Atlanta Ballet Even so certain companies continue to reject candidates or fire existing employees due to changes in their weight or body shape In doing so they solidify the belief that companies care less about individual dancers and more about the image that the institution as a whole carries In reality the so called ballet body is a myth Contrary to the beliefs of the likes of Balanchine dancers of all body shapes are able to perform at the same level The arts are all about fostering unity and diversity when these companies create barriers for both accessibility and inclusivity they are accomplishing the exact opposite https cdn pixabay com photo 2018 03 08 15 39 ballerina 3208937_1280 jpg The preferences of landmark choreographers such as Balanchine continue to negatively impact the ballet world today Though the myth is being slowly dismantled it is still upheld in the elite companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet These companies are hailed as the world s premier companies however a large part of their success can be attributed to the uniform look of the dancers that stems from elitism and blatant fatphobia that is brushed under the rug These companies associate with ballet schools and they handpick students to enter their systems at a young age Ten and eleven year olds are often made to strip down to their undergarments in front of a panel of judges so that the companies can determine whether or not their body shapes are suitable for their intents and purposes If the young dancers pass their examinations and gain entrance into the school or the company they are then pressured into a culture of severe dietary disorders and unhealthy behaviors in order to continue meeting the unrealistic standards and expectations of their

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Unconscious Drawing By Zaenab Najeeb Just leave yourself and let your hands and your subconscious mind inspire you Allowing the self to act spontaneously without placing restrictions and conditions helps our inner child to move forward

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After that it is possible to fill in the spaces with colors or use colors as you wish Mixing colors will give you a wonderful visual feed Although this method seems very easy it may be frightening to some as we are used to always placing judgments restrictions and conditions on ourselves and acting within these restrictions thereby preventing ourselves from liberating and acting spontaneously If you think that you need a special skill to draw a painting then you should reconsider Subconscious drawing is one of the means that helps you to psychological discharge without the need for a special skill Just leave yourself and let your hands and your subconscious mind inspire you Allowing the self to act spontaneously without placing restrictions and conditions helps our inner child to move forward What is subconscious drawing It is the process of drawing without awareness or leaving the process of drawing to the subconscious To practice subconscious drawing all you need is sketch paper a pencil or pen of your choice and maybe some color Start making automatic drawings without any judgment or control Continue drawing for five minutes Then contemplate the drawing Your conscious mind may not leave you for more than this period It is okay to let it contemplate the drawing Twist the drawing in all directions and make conscious adjustments if you want Suppressing your control can in and of itself be a powerful threat to you Through automatic painting you will gradually learn to loosen that control and give yourself the opportunity to flow ideas into drawings without judging them In nature you will find thousands of inspiring shapes If you find it difficult to get started you can use some drawings on the wings of butterflies or birds such as Wilson s bird of paradise About a week ago I gave a workshop regarding subconscious drawing with the medical staff of Burg AlArab University Hospital Children Oncology Centre in Alexandria Egypt and the results were amazing Subconscious drawing restores our confidence in our hands This method is wonderful especially for surgeons because sometimes when a patient dies under their hands they may feel that their hands have disappointed them Subconscious drawing helps rebuild their trust in their own hands again In fact we imitate children in this as if we look we will find that children use their hands more confidently than adults we may learn from kids this feature It looks easy and fun Try it now and share this wonderful way of psychological discharge with your loved ones

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BOL WO Bollywood and the BJP By Sreya Srikanth

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12 B One Saturday afternoon my father and I paid a visit to the cinemas for our annual tradition of stuffing ourselves with buttery popcorn After a 30 minute long argument on movie candidates we settled on Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar s Bell Bottom a spy thriller retelling of the 1970s investigation into bombings that reveal an orchestrated conspiracy by Pakistan s Secret Service Despite its daunting 200 minute run time I still went in with an open mind and a tub full of buttery popcorn I want those 200 minutes of my life back This movie does nothing out of the ordinary it s a stale recycling of the Hindustan Jeetenge plot the essence or lack thereof comes through melodramatic one liners and deafening explosions and watching Akshay Kumar play another self righteous male protagonist was just about enough to make me want to ram my head through a wall Whilst my dad had a much more positive view of the film I still remain puzzled as to how he also agreed that the constant proclamations to Mother India and the bashing of Pakistan was completely unwarranted But this will seem hard to believe there was a time where this wasn t the case There was a time when heartfelt stories were being produced where characters were 3 dimensional and where stories existed outside the holy trinity of 2020s Bollywood dry comedy inapposite grittiness and overbearing patriotism The more I thought about it the more I realised that Bollywood seems to be more interested in appealing to religious divides for a quick buck or reinforcing its prejudices via formulaic films with monotonous casting i e every single Varun Dhawan film in existence Long story short the constant vilification of Pakistan is nothing new and it all comes down to three letters B J P The Bharat Jatiya Party Akshay Kumar in Bell Bottom

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13 The BJP whose figurehead is current Prime Minister and bleached gulab jamun Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 Modi s close allies who include Amit Shah Minister of Home Affairs Yogi Adyitanath Gujarat Chief Minister and deformed hybrid of Tibetan monk and Wayne LaPierre have all been in favour of Hindu supremacy in India and have campaigns that are rooted in islamophobia These guys would be the Justice League if justice meant preserving religious inequality However Bollywood s story could not be more different Bollywood has always served as a meeting point for various cultures some of its most influential figures are Muslim India s largest minority group actors Shah Rukh Khan Salman Khan Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan none are related to each other have been some of the most frequently seen in film posters since the 1980s 5 of the 10 highest grossing films in Indian cinema history have featured one of the Khans Shah Rukh Khan holds the record for receiving the most number of Filmfare awards India s version of the Oscars and multiple prominent studios are owned by Muslim families However the increasing shift towards a Hindu dominated industry has come at a cost for the opportunities of others Following airstrikes in the disputed territory of Kashmir India has banned Pakistani actors from being cast in Bollywood films Pakistan retaliated with banning Indian films from cinemas despite Bollywood films accounting for 60 percent of films released While Pakistan may lose out on the pop culture aspects of India there is something much deeper at risk for us as well we have lost talent as a result of this trivial ban Fawad Khan who was once a rising force in Bollywood has now been banned from acting in the industry with his final film being Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring superstars Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Mahira Khan another Pakistani actor also received her breakout Bollywood role in Raees with co star Shah Rukh Khan After the film was announced numerous protests erupted with the film s release date being delayed All of these actions taken to help convert Bollywood into a symbol of the BJP s impact on this industry bore paramount consequences going into the 2019 Indian elections which after a combination of factors relating to Bollywood the media and other political strategies led to another landslide victory A photograph of Modi with famous Bollywood stars in today s era some stars the photo features are Ranveer Singh Varun Dhawan Siddharth Malhotra Ranbir Kapoor Rajkumar Rao Bhumi Pednakar Alia Bhatt and Ayushmann Khurrana If one looks at Bollywood today it is enough to make you question what still remains from a world of censorship washed of any colour and diversity that existed in the past The short answer A cheap forge of earlier crafts lost to politics and media Sooryavanshi another Akshay Kumar starrer released in cinemas last fall I d outline the plot for you but all you d need to envision is Bell Bottom but in a police outfit with an unnecessary crossover of action comedy film franchises The film received numerous criticisms mainly for its portrayal of Islam and the constant criminalisation of Muslim behaviour with the Quint remarking that the portrayal of the only religious Muslims as terrorists in the film are examples of filmmakers trying to ride on the prevalent anti Muslim sentiment and make films that reinforce these fears The TL DR is this Long gone are the days of true storytelling in Hindi cinema where writing acting and directing worked in harmony to create a story worth paying attention to

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14 Mertens Would you mind telling me a bit about yourself both you as a person and an artist How did you get into art First of all my name is Helena I m 27 years old and I live in Dusseldorf Germany I would say that I m a very creative person I started knitting and crocheting about 5 years ago and I m the kind of person who always needs a project and always needs to be creative I started to knit my own personal clothes and I had the idea of influencing others who were interested in my fashion and I started writing a blog about my project Then with Corona in Germany and around that time my boyfriend and I moved into a bigger flat where there were many many blank walls I just had the idea of trying something new to not think too much about things So I just bought a canvas and some acrylic colours and just started to go with the paint h e l e n a By Sreya Srikanth

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So it was all quite new to you painting with acrylics Yes two years ago It was fascinating for me I had painted with acrylics and canvases in school and other places but I was not as passionate as I was two years ago when I started to create with a new perspective Wow And honestly I ve seen some of your work and it is amazing You ve only been doing this for two years so what were you doing before you got into art As I said I m very creative so I studied literature in university and I also worked in social media marketing and the blog and all those other things they were very important for me Wow This was like a very big jump for you from social media marketing to artist I still have Social Media managing as my main job but I really liked pursuing art right now because my work in school and university are very much writing based like my Master s thesis and all that What satisfies me to produce something with my hands to create something that really is so different That was always important for me I need to always have a project also like building something building furniture upcycling and all these other things Moving on I ve seen some of your paintings on Instagram and honestly your work is just phenomenal You say that your style is in mixed media so what words would you use to characterize your work I would say that in my style of mixed media HEAL 15 I m combining wild often neon and bright colours For me personally I don t hace a developed concept in mind when I create art it s more of a process where I try to focus on my feelings sometimes Recently I ve had this epiphany that for my art less is more I ve been reducing my colour using some techniques in the process it makes me realise the clear concept say I just need to try out I would say that is a defining characteristic of my art What s your most favourite piece that you have created so far and why One of my most favorite projects so far was Mother Nature It was on a big canvas with green as the main colour and it was for me to convey the message that we should care more about her and take more time with her We all have these stresses that come from school from university from social media from the internet and all that I think the best medicine is often to remove yourself from your house and just go outside maybe to your garden or the forest or the ocean or whatever I think nature has so much that we can use to heal and see and we can learn so much from her For me when people look at these paintings they are reminded that everything needs to be respected that s why I like this painting so much What do you want to convey or what goes through your head when you try to create a piece What do you want to communicate with your audience PASSION FOR ART For me the feeling that I got while painting during lockdown just trying out my materials on my canvas After a few weeks of this I suddenly realised Oh I really do like what I m doing right now The other moment happened after my first exhibition when I showed people some of my first pieces the response that I got from my audience was just amazing even though I was very nervous I kept thinking oh is this good enough will people like what I m doing Right now it s not about them liking it For me it s just about painting and having a passion and I do like what I m doing at this moment and spreading it to others The happiness that people feel when they look at my art The fascination that they feel when they come look at it and buy it that is what made me feel Okay this is what I want to do Outside when I m starting painting I turn the music up very loud in my flat and I listen to very different kinds of music sometimes it s acoustic chill sometimes it s German HipHop it s very mixed and happens very very spontaneously But I sometimes turn it down a little bit and sometimes focus on what I am feeling when I feel things like happiness and power and passion while painting my audience will recognize when they look at a piece from me recognize this very interesting feeling that I want people who are watching my art is kind of also critical For example Mother Nature about things that we normally don t recognize because what we always are it s always something like that So I have this idea to get into things from another transport this message What s your main source of inspiration when you create your pieces Sometimes it s the music that inspires me Otherwise there are always deep talks with my family with my friends and when I think about a topic that s very important I want to communicate this message And sometimes I m just strolling through my city and doing things like window shopping and notice

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Mother Nature

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17 things like colour combinations and other things I want to do with this energy And sometimes I m just lying in bed unable to sleep and thinking about the many ideas I have For me inspiration is everywhere I could paint one canvas for the next onehundred years everyday and there would still be enough inspiration You just explained that the people you see in your exhibitions are what ignite the passion inside you How does that influence your work If people like certain aspects of my work it of course inspires me so I start to think about creating similar works For example with Mother Nature there were so many people who loved the message and were impressed with the artwork So I decided to create a series called Our Planet to show other perspectives from the idea I have with this I wanted to tell something with my art and I m not really focused on one line I m very open minded to trying different things Art is your job And every job has stress What for you is the biggest stress that comes with painting in any part of the process The biggest problem for me is that I am sometimes too hard on myself I am the type of person to say Hmm no that doesn t look good and I don t like that and stuff like that and after a few weeks it s really hard for me to start again because I ve produced work that people have liked but what will happen now Will I have the energy to put in another perspective or topics or subjects Yeah I think the most important one for me is that I m too hard on myself and I think that reflection is an important process for everyone not just artists and I m just trying to focus on the good things of art and finish the process but it is a bit difficult for me Moving on to our final question of this part What is the biggest lesson that art both your job and your passion has taught you I have to say that art has taught me so many lessons It is so fascinating for me to meet other artists to meet other people people like you and me and I realise that happiness is so important to share and you are only really happy when you have the chance to share the feelings with other people You somehow realise that there are always people in life who are judging maybe kind of and I think that this is important because art depends on what you re thinking about what your personal opinion is but it is most important that you believe in and you don t give people the chance to get in the way You need to be strong and to trust in your skills I am happy when there is another art exhibition with seven artists I m very very happy when the art is next to the picture and my canvas work was all in neon acrylic colours and it was completely dark and you could see only some shades Meanwhile people were dancing and enjoying the moment Moving on This is the Rapid Round I ask you one or two word questions and you give me a response within 15 seconds So question number one what is your favourite song That s hard I have so many Well You re Beautiful by James Blunt a classic Okay favourite place in the whole world That s easy Bali Indonesia trust yourself I think that this is important because art depends on what you re thinking about what your personal opinion is but it is most important that you believe in and you don t give people the chance to get in the way You need to be strong and to trust in your skills that can happen for me in credibility because I haven t thought it would be possible that you can share loss and happiness this way Wow You were saying something about your first exhibition when was this This exhibition was for four months and it was in Cologne and it was a super cool exhibition It was in a concept store with a very new concept we had an after show party there was underground music live music and interviews and all that it was not a very classy exhibition in the gallery and some of Favourite food French fries Favourite drink I drink water all day but under the right conditions Prosecco Favourite time of the day Evening between 6 and 8 pm I m full of energy at this time I m not the person to wake up early in the morning For me sunset is the most important time of the day Amazing Thank you so much for your contribution to our magazine Helena and have a lovely rest of the day Goodbye

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18 FILOO INTERVIEW Concept artist and illustrator from Iran By Dorian Shine

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19 A Starry Night On Jupiter

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20 The greatest and strongest thing with which a human being can achieve his goal is the magic of imagination What is the essence of your name Filoo Everyone calls me by my last name Filoo The word philosophy is derived from the Greek philo love and sophia wisdom and is literally defined as the love of wisdom In fact I like the shape and type of writing F more than PH I was born in a village in western Iran somewhere between the hills and wide fields with cold mountain weather I am an Iranian Turk Respect for others is perhaps the most important characteristic of Turks maybe like monks Of course over time local clothing and handicrafts and many other things have disappeared due to modernization But as far as I can remember carpet weaving was and is one of the biggest and best handicrafts there What can you tell me about your artistic academic and professional path From childhood I loved eerie cold and foggy spaces I love scary and weird stories almost anything that is surreal or exaggerated I studied graphic art at the conservatory and actually learned everything I needed to know about the basics of art there Actually the greatest chance of my life was to learn the basics of art at that art school About going to university I feel I wasted five years of my life by mistake I have been working professionally as a concept artist in the field of video games movies and animation for almost seven years In general I am a 2D 3D artist but for three years now my focus has been more on 3D Art I love the dark surrealism style Most of the time I am creating or brainstorming the point is that I never get tired of creating In fact my job is my hobby I m also very interested in recognizing human disorders I would love to bring these disorders into the world of surrealism and fantasy I ve The Bitter End been working on this in my actual collection for almost a few months and I think it will take 2 3 years because humans have many disorders How did your journey with creativity and art start This journey began as a child when I imagined fantasy worlds in my mind and wished I was in those spaces Can you describe to me those imagined worlds How did this evolve In general my imaginary world is usually moody foggy and dark but there is always a little light at the end of the image My imaginary world is very mysterious But my world is not sad at all and it is even more exciting and maybe a little scarier because it is unknown There must be a very large library there and many scientists and wizards are studying and practicing or discovering something I love science and I always see it in my world I usually look for rare things in my imagination like someone who is always searching My mind is full of unsolved puzzles In my opinion the greatest and strongest thing with which a human being can achieve his goal is the magic of imagination I have touched it and I have reached it Perhaps I dare say this is the only thing I believe in Maybe if you would have asked this question seven years ago I would have been able to better explain my artistic mind s imagination These days 70 of my mind and imagination is filled with business One day I wished I could make an illustration for a company but these days I am thinking of becoming a billionaire What are three elements you approach in your art I always try to observe three things in art Feeling Story Sign Actually I don t like to express the concepts very directly I like the viewer to discover them Artworks by every artist are a reflection of life These three issues are exactly what I face every day Feelings stories and signs are things I grew up with I have loved hearing strange stories since I was a child and I pay a lot of attention to signs I have always wanted to connect issues and events in some way like solving a puzzle and then turn them into a unique story What inspires you the most Saint Nature Just seeing nature I have a lot of respect for nature it might be hard to explain Watching a tree for me does not just mean seeing I think for example how old is this tree how many winters has it seen how many thousands of people have seen it is it a good tree In fact I talk to them in a whisper of course All I know is that nature loves me very much in general nature gives me a lot of energy and I am very happy and motivated after each meeting I always wished I was a pine tree deep in the forest What kind of nature do you like the most What season What places I want to write ten pages about this question I love autumn and winter I wish it were seven months of autumn and five months of winter in twelve months I like mountain nature more Full of plains rivers and cold mountain air I think

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a 21 rt My whole being is formed in art Ideas are created for a reason depending on the time and situation Maybe I was happy sad or anything at that moment I never like to give someone a direct signal about the meaning of my work In fact it doesn t matter at all that the viewer understands what was in my mind What do you think Disorders

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Suraw No 1

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Suraw No 3

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24 MY WHOLE BEING IS FORMED IN ART Watch Out Can you tell me more about the technicalities of the software use I started by drawing As a teenager and in high school I used to draw a lot of objects environments and people Design is the basis of all visual arts It was through drawing that the artist came to an understanding of composition light and perspective so I loved illustration from the beginning I remember one year before entering the conservatory I bought a Photoshop tutorial CD and learned Photoshop around 2002 I worked with Photoshop for several years and then with a light pen A light pen is actually a pencil and Photoshop paper I worked like that for years and I still do Later prompted by my needs and ideas I needed to learn 3D software Working with 3D software is exactly like 2D except that you also see the back and around In general I am both a 2D artist and a 3D artist In this way I first created my ideas in a 3D coat then I rendered it in Blender and then I painted and edited them a bit in Photoshop I actually combine them I love technology I am always learning The point is learning in art never ends and there is always something you want to learn and improve The moment of creation is the strangest moment the best thing on earth is cold and winter It is very interesting to know that I am much happier and more active on cloudy days This morning I greeted the tree in front of the window of my room You know it s good and easy for me to connect with nature It s so simple I get energy from nature and I give it energy How does it reflect in your art Reflection is formed in the depths of the mind and combined with many things To say that only nature affects my work is not true many factors affect a work of art Reflections of nature joy sorrow victory defeat and millions of other things affect the creation of a work of art My whole being is formed in art Ideas are created for a reason depending on the time and situation Maybe I was happy sad or anything at that moment I never like to give someone a direct signal about the meaning of my work In fact it doesn t matter at all that the viewer understands what was in my mind What do you think The important thing is that the viewer can relate to my work or even tell him a story I never use direct references to convey concepts I am curious to know more about a typical creative moment for you How does it start Any inspiration How does it evolve and how does it end The moment of creation is really the strangest moment that can be experienced just like a journey is full of experience I usually write everything out and when I want to turn my ideas into images I think about it until the image is almost 60 complete in my mind colors senses image and angle I really like this part of the work The thoughts Inspiration for me usually comes from everything music nature thinking of a good or bad moment After this depending on what I want to start I open the software and start

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25 As for today what are your goals and dreams My biggest goal is to build my own brand I love fashion and one day I will definitely launch a fashion clothing brand called FILOO I ve always wanted to bring the art of illustration into fashion though not a crowded illustration a little simpler in fact more minimal My brand will be for both women and men I love street fashion I always ask why in the fashion industry drawing or painting is used sparingly I mean famous brands Of course there are brands that work with the method of illustration but the idea that I have is much rarer and more attractive My taste is more comfortable and a little baggy clothes In my own brand I will definitely produce good hats with a rare design In fact the most important thing in my brand is two things comfort and illustration I hope I d enter this industry at the age of 40 I need to add more image to fashion And what are the challenges and struggles you are facing now What do you need to do to achieve your goals I know there are many challeng also made me more familiar with the world of Metaverse something I will use 100 in my brand You just have to start Lack of experience and money or anything else is just an excuse To do this you have to face challenges Tell us about that one moment you felt happy with yourself and your art It feels so weird Almost every moment when an artwork ends and every moment I want to share it I have a strange feeling about it And in all these moments I am always happy es I face Setting up a production line and many other things I need to know I am also learning Marvelous Designer software This is a powerful application for clothing design Starting a brand is really challenging because I need to increase my knowledge and meet and talk with more people in the industry It is as if I will enter a world full of danger from a safe world But it s not scary for me at all Incidentally my activity in cryptocurrency changed many of my behaviors In fact trading behavior is very different from the art world It What are you working on right now And where can we see your work I m currently making an illustration for one of the Netflix series My work is available at this links Instagram thephiloo https www artstation com filoo Behance abolfazlfiloo https twitter com AbolfazlFiloo NFT https makersplace com philoo https foundation app Philoo tab created To finish our interview I want you to close your eyes and share what goes in your mind and heart Maybe there is a price to be paid for being creative Just like a deal A deal that you can t remember when or where or even why you signed Maybe the price of pain and accepting disorders is the birth of butterflies Maybe the butterflies are born in the deepest and most chaotic parts of the brain No one knows but maybe there is a deep connection between creativity and disorders Maybe Filoo Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview Eyestronomy

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Surreal Family

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The Thinker

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28 Queer Buddha By Aparna Prabhakar My name is Jose Alejo my pronouns are he him and I m based in Fresno California Q there is something very exploratory about art where you get to explore yourself What disciplines mediums or styles of art do you do in which are your favorites So currently I m focusing more on digital art I consider myself more of an illustrator at the moment But in the past I really enjoyed watercolor as a medium and acrylic painting I would consider those three my favorite art mediums How long have you been practicing your art and what originally sparked your love for it I think I ve been making art since I was a child Since I ve had memory I think it s served so many different functions in my life making art I remember making art with my family with my mom And as a child being kind of alone kind of isolated art was really how I spent a lot of my time A lot of your work centers around the queer community How do you think art affects the LGBTQ community as a whole as well as individual identity Well I think I can speak from my personal experience art really helped me understand myself because it s really like taking parts of me that are inside and seeing them on the outside It s like a little piece of me that s been taken into the physical world And I think for all of us perspective taking is part of refining our identity and figuring out what is true about me as a person And so for me art was like looking in the mirror a lot of the time to kind of see what are these different parts of me I got to explore my sexuality my gender my culture my emotions my thoughts my beliefs all of those things through visual forms So I think for the queer community or the LGBTQ community I think a lot of us are artists because I think there is something very exploratory about art where you get to explore yourself and sometimes deconstruct parts of yourself that are maybe inherited from the outside world as well What is your favorite project that you ve done and why do you like it My favorite project is untitled at the moment But if I could describe it it s a skeleton swimming in a body of water that s completely polluted by human waste And you know at first glance it might appear maybe morbid to look at but visually it s very bright and colorful And to me that s my favorite art piece that I ve made of my own because I think it s an acknowledgment of this world issue or of something pretty dark but also bringing this attitude of hope And yeah I guess radical hope right for the future And also acceptance So that for me is my favorite art piece that I ve made so far What is your favorite piece of art For a long time it s been visual artpainting Because it s very contemplative right It requires you to be very still with the art piece that s in front of you to really look inward And so for the longest time painting has been my favorite form of art Though recently I ve been getting more into dance appreciating it watching others dance and also trying to dance myself And I think what that has done for me is it s really gotten me into a closer relationship with my body which is something that was I think lacking in a large part of my life A lot of the time we re in our heads or in our heart center But I think dance has allowed me to be fully in my body so I think dance has taken this bigger role in my life that I m really enjoying Do you have a favorite specific piece of dance or visual art As far as dance goes I really am really enjoying salsa dancing There s something very free and liberating about salsa dancing And as far as visual art I really like grand pieces like large paintings I like feeling lost in a painting What message do you hope to send through your art I ve been thinking about this one I think the message I m trying to send is this idea of radical hope that we can look at these really dark issues that surround us whether they re mental health individual issues or maybe global issues but also carry with us this attitude of hope That we can change it that we can transform it and grow from it that we could use it as fuel to make it better Ultimately that s the core message of my art

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30 Social issues in an accessible way You use your platform to advocate for social justice issues such as animal rights mental health and more What role do you believe art plays in justice and equity I think art serves as an entry point towards larger issues And I think it also kind of frames the attitude that we take towards those issues Because we can talk about you know LGBT rights or mental health or animal rights And we can talk about them with a tone of defeat or nihilism or you know hopelessness or we can talk about them with this attitude of hope of community of compassion I think art allows us to frame the issue with a specific attitude and then present it to people so that they can step into that social issue So yeah social issues in a more accessible way The art on your Instagram page carries a very grounded feeling with lots of quotes and influential messages So are there any motifs you use to create this vibe Why did you choose this aesthetic I think a lot of my art is mantras to myself I have to practice to keep myself grounded I think I definitely for a large part of my life had fallen into this neurotic spectrum of life And I think my art has been a way to kind of pull myself out of those dark spaces And so I do keep my art on my walls at all times as reminders to practice these mantras these philosophies and these beliefs of hope of joy of mindfulness So I think my own personal journey definitely inspired a lot of the quotes in the mantras and inspirational messages as well as my job I work as a counselor So you know I carry a lot of stories in my head all the time of other people s pain and suffering For me a lot of that is how do I kind of transform that in my mind and keep this positive perspective Who are your artistic inspirations I have three in mind One of them is Odilon Redon He is a very very old 1900s painter and I love his use of color He combined so many different colors into one piece in such a harmonic way And so that s very inspiring aesthetically He also paints spiritual figures like Buddha Christ saints things like that And I think there s also a spiritual element to what I do So he s definitely an inspiration as well as Barbara Kruger who is a graphic designer and a phenomenal artist who uses text in her work to communicate very direct and powerful messages Her art was very focused around racial and gender issues So she s very inspiring to me And lastly Frida Kahlo due to the cultural connection that I have with her being Mexican as well as just how she used painting as a way to kind of navigate her pain and suffering that she was under So I think those are my biggest inspirations for art What is the most important thing you want people to know about you I would say I want people to know that I have allowed myself to experience the full range of human emotion rather than despair and suffering but also hope and joy and calmness And I think that the capacity to be open to all of these experiences has made my life a lot better And I would hope that a lot of people allow themselves that opportunity to also open themselves up to feeling the full range of human experience whether that s through art or writing or dance or love whatever the medium you choose to experience life experience it fully So that s something that I would want to share about myself with the world Where can we find your work My Instagram is mainly where I post my progress my finished pieces and just my thoughts So you can find me on Instagram under queerbuddha And if you ever want to purchase any artwork from me on my Etsy it s queerbuddha as well

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Rapid Fire Round Favorite song Booksmart Devil by Silversun Pickups Favorite word Compassion Favorite color An earthy green Favorite book The Power of Now Favorite memory Meditating on top of the mountain

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Rom ALV Poetess Masters in Psychoanalysis by Psychoanalyst adherent member of Argentin International Psychoanalytic Association IPA Association APM Former professor of Psyc exile issues and founding member of EPLA

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mina VES the UBA University of Buenos Aires na Psychoanalytic Association APA and the A Invited member of Madrid Psychoanalytic chology UBA Researcher in migration and A Espa o Psicanal tico Latinoamericano By Dorian Shine

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34 Romina take us on a little trip down your memory lane about your life literary path I was born in Buenos Aires on March 16 1982 I grew up with my family and due to my parents work I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother who took care of me and from whom I inherited the sensitivity for everything that surrounds me The sound of the rain on the tin roof of her humble but generous dwelling still echoes in my mind and in my heart I could say that my literary activity began by observing her simple gestures her faith and her great capacity to tell me stories that impassioned me and made me want to discover the world beyond material objects My humble origins often deprived me of walks or games Tedium and pessimism were commonplace in the battered working class neighborhood I lived in but that is where the magic began the possibility of overcoming that fate and creating and recreating myself in the sound of my grandmother s stories and in her botanical wisdom I remember that together we would plant seeds wait for harvest time and nourish ourselves with the product of the earth caressed by our hands In that process of waiting and watching the growth of the plants I discovered one of the most important lessons something inextricable that makes the potency the being in potency and the poetic act that exists in the cycle of life itself There in those experiences I took my first steps in literary activity in oral narration and above all in the enrichment of the representational field of fantasy so vital for literary creation I could summarize in these verses to my homeland some of these experiences and beginnings To Ciudadela I tell you that around here in the latitudes of uncertainty The voiceless bird sings Benteveo Benteveo It cracks your heart And in the shade sleeps an old man A garden dwarf Looks at everything White stiff carmine coral nose Book Apple and a kiss Laughs the little boy endlessly Dismembering a fern And the bird says again Benteveo Benteveo Right here in these parts One waits a lot one prays The rooster crows at eight o clock And the grapevine dries up The potatoes take root And the Cumparsita plays A stew is eaten at twelve o clock And in the middle of the afternoon you dream I don t know what else I can say Of this place of this Ciudadela That many will not know While others remember it It was in this way capturing the simple things the course of life and the nostalgia of my migrant familythat I turned to words to tell first in simple verses the experiences that surrounded me and then from my academic activity as a psychoanalyst to transmit the understanding of the psychic correlate of migrations and the spherical nostalgia that comes with taking refuge in the memories of a mythical territory and time My daily life is literary creation whether in poetry or in the possibility of helping others to weave their own stories and the possibility of understanding themselves That is why I decided to become a psychoanalyst because I trust that in the sea of every human existence lies the treasure of the transforming power of the word as an identity vehicle that makes other destinies possible My own history has taught me the possibility of rewriting ourselves as living texts as beings of words It makes me wonder how you knit the words to create the sails of a ship that takes us far away Which makes me curious to know what were your first poetic readings and which authors influenced you My first poetic readings took place during my early education I discovered that fascination when a teacher read Conrado Nal Roxlo in class even today I remember that when I was 7 years old I vibrated with emotion my skin

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35 we as humans possess I trust it will be fruitful for him responded by bristling a reaction that I discovered that day and that repeats itself when I read a text that moves me That first encounter was with the poem The Cricket I would like to share it with you to show you how that encounter with the lyricism of simple things and the strength of images made verse influenced me On the other hand the encounter with this poem left in me the intuition that would later become certainty the fact that there are as many realities as there are observers and that our internal state and subjective positioning defines a condition Today I can express it in this complexity but the child I used to be was surprised with the revelation of the wisdom of the cricket of the poem and her question Or is it that in my new condition of cricket I see everything as a cricket this morning It was a matter of time and long talks with my grandmother to discover that we can see through the eyes of others through the possibility of putting ourselves in that place Nal Roxlo s verses were my first lesson of empathy and of that transforming capacity that internal states and emotions have Today that wisdom accompanies me in my work and in life it is something that I try to pass on to my son as the greatest treasure that The cricket Conrado Nal Roxlo Music for its own sake vain music like the vain music of the cricket my eglogical and simple heart woke up as a cricket this morning Is it this porcelain blue sky Is it a cup of gold the hawthorn Or is it that in my new cricket condition I see everything cricket like this morning How well the frog s flute sounds But it is not the sound of a flute it is a cymbal of vibrant crystal that in two sheds drops of sonorous water drops of sonorous water How simple it is for one who has the heart of a cricket to interpret life this morning Others of my first readings have been the classics of Spanish literature Cervantes Garc a Lorca Marco Denevi and Borges This last author together with the discovery of the book Rayuela by Julio Cortazar marked a great influence in my poetic expression and in my inclination towards psychoanalysis The depth of the marks of the remains of the seen and the heard that we can trace in Rayuela or in Borges Aleph were revealing in my professional conviction Especially in the Freudian conception of the two times of the occurrence of trauma and the reeditions that can divert the destiny of the repetition of the eternal return of the same of the point of fixation that holds us to the traumatic Freud speaks to us of the familiar novel of the neurotic an elucidation that has connected me in my student days with all the poetic dimension that there is in the act of existing and with the intuition that that little girl I was discovered with the cricket by Nal Roxlo the fact that we can see reality and our own existence in function of the condition of our internal states Another influence I discovered at another time in my life has been Os Lusiadas by Lu s Vaz de Cam es the epic of 16th century imperial Portugal and the living memory of the exploits of my father s people my people of inheritance The connection I have with Cam es is beyond words it is a visceral feeling something that connects me with the mythical time of my Lusitanian identity Something that I can only illustrate when I say we were two and I don t know how many others are running free through our sanguine rivers dead lineage lost and alive It is what inhabits me in relation to my Portuguese origin after all and as Chico Buarque says in his Fado Tropical Todos n s herdamos no sangue lusitano uma boa dose de lirismo in this poem that I title ramos dos I share with you something of that heritage of those others that have preceded me and that run free through my sanguine rivers And of some other pair dazzled by its own ethereal light meaningless and singular Cam es and Fernando Pessoa are two essential authors for me together with the expression of Manuel Alegre and his songs to the Portuguese exile The latter are verses that I have even articulated in one of my books

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36 P on the subject of the impact of migrations on the psyche my current field of research We were two There were two of us and time Simply that Without the motherly embrace that was lost there one fine day We were two and time The one that was still to live but it was already extinguished We were two and I don t know how many others Running free through our sanguine rivers Lineage dead lost and alive And we were one in the small death of the serene blind instant When the eyes close And the heart girded in fear of no longer being him Let us be today while we can That the flying tyrant lurks eager for more returns Of more little deaths How would you define his poetry For me I would define it as life itself it simply happens to me in a non renounceable way it is a vital impulse that surprises me in the least thought moments and nevertheless in the most necessary ones to cling to it as a condition of existence Without the sea of words I perish Do you think the poet evolves in his writing And how has your poetic language changed over the years I like to think more in terms of transitions because I think that to speak in terms of evolution can subject us to ideals by the association of this term to Darwinian categories it would make us think of a unidirectional movement in which there would be an apex within what is expected in a paradigm I think that in everyone there is poetry and transits but it is about authorizing oneself and discovering oneself in the condition of the poet of the one who with a conviction can give a different use to the word daring to play with it and to settle and transmit an emotion a reality a state In me the poetic language and the game of expression has mutated in tune with my life cycle In my early youth my verses were more naive moving to a more existential depth now that I inhabit the middle age With all the changes in the world from COVID to the war today how do you think literature could help Literature saves us like all artistic manifestations It allows us to sublimate our uncertainties and other feelings opening possibilities and alternative worlds to inhabit in fantasy From psychoanalysis we maintain that art and the ability to fantasize are vital to cushion the harshness of life Today our world is becoming a very difficult place to inhabit uncertainty has swept away our omnipotent fantasy of dominating nature and above all our nature the most unpredictable and deadly as it seems that our death drive pushes us towards a selfdestruction that is becoming increasingly difficult to compensate for More than ever we should cling to art and its transformative character What is the goal you would like to achieve with your poems To contribute to the possibility of rescuing the beauty in the very act of living of being witnesses of our transitions and the understanding of our own death as part of a non renounceable cycle To help others to have a pleasant moment reading my verses or the productions of other authors I consider myself an advocate and disseminator of poetry and art in general I think that is the way As a psychologist immigrant editor in chief wife and mother how do you organize your time and your life to give each part of your occupation its time and importance I set priorities family and my patients come first During the week I organize my schedule so that there is always time for reading and writing psychoanalytic articles for various publications in which I participate alternating space for poetry In my office and at home I always keep a book of poems at hand which I read randomly as a source of inspiration and

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UP DO NOT GIVE 37 necessary recreation Now that I live in Spain I am delving into the culture of these people through poetry In my office I have a copy of proverbs and songs of Antonio Machado I appreciate its freshness and botanical images present in his verses For Mother s Day I have been honored with the Cantares gallegos by Rosal a de Castro a real gem What do you think of the new ways of spreading the word A true democratization of the word and the dissemination of knowledge a fact that I welcome I think that encouraging a more plural access to art and literature generates more humane understanding and sensitive societies something that today is in decline due to the trivialization to which we are pushed by the various forms of oppression we know What advice would you give to a young person who is starting out on this path of poetry Not to give up and not to submit to imposed canons poetry is plural dynamic and alive as the word itself It is something that we can all cultivate if we enable ourselves to do this exercise Do not give up As an analyst and psychologist how do you see these times of the pandemic these times of war Finally what advice would you give to the artists intellectuals who read us We are living events that test our individual and group psyche The disinformation the various conspiracy theories and the helplessness to which we as a society were exposed led us to situations of collective madness in which paranoia delusions and generalized anxiety became commonplace In my professional practice I have witnessed the emotional deterioration of many of my patients a condition that had been mitigated but that with the war is again installed from the re edition of traumas from other wars the threat of transgenerational grief and atavistic fears These are truly complex situations from which I hope that as a society and as individuals we can soon emerge In this sense art is always a refuge that I highly recommend My advice to the artists and intellectuals who read us is to continue producing because you are essential you are the catalyst of this battered humanity It is up to us to have faith and as I say in a book I have written for my son to think that it is better to live knowing that everything possible has been done than with the certainty of never having tried I embrace you all from Madrid on a warm spring afternoon Interview and poems in Spanish and translated to English

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38 COMMUNI FEATURES We feature a variety of artists in Modern Renaissance and we are always looking for more community features If you are interested in being featured in our next issue head to Culturally s website or Instagram where you will find the online submission form If you are unable to find your submission keep an eye out for the next issue All works are copyrighted and all rights are reserved by the artists and writers

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39 TY S EL Rodriguez June 2022 Modern Renaissance Cover E L Rodr guez is an emerging visual artist raised and based in Tongva and Chumash lands socalled Los Angeles California She had her first gallery exhibition this year She is a self taught artist and has a B A in English Literature She specializes in oil painting and poetry Her artistic style is influenced by the surrealism and symbolism movements Central to her artwork are themes of healing decolonization indigenous culture and perspectives and nature My art explores decolonization healing and indigenous cultural ideas The imaginary draws upon spirituality folk stories songs and flora and fauna from what is now considered central Mexico My pieces heavily utilize symbols to tell stories Instagram elrod art

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40 ESTEPARIA Argentina Instagram __esteparia Art History Professor graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the National University of La Plata FDA UNLP based in La Plata Buenos Aires During the last years she has been invited to be a member of a research team of a chair in his former faculty the main focus of her research is in new media and video games from cultural studies and semiotics perspective Besides this academic path she is constructing her artistic corpus working with programming as a main tool to express herself she defines her practice as the labor of a media alchemist that experiments with pixels as a compositional element During the last year she has participated in several shows and festivals among her latest exhibitions she has been part of a traveling show that will tour Spain Portugal and Argentina within the MAP Project entitled La Distancia del Caos has participated in an exhibition above the digital facade of the MediaLab Prado in Madrid within the Madrid Digital Urban Art Festival has a Net Art work within the Homeostasis org web platform has participated in the exhibition Orbiting the Glitch at the virtual gallery New Art City has been interviewed and published on the first issue of the Mitoshi magazine and lately has been selected to participate in the 4th Festival of Photography and Moving Image of Bah a Blanca Buenos Aires with some of her photographic work In her day to day life she also participates in events such as vj and livecoder Her work is a manifestation of the creative communion between the computer and the human artist as she writes the code some randomness is provided by the black box that programming and the experimentation around this practice involves so the result is a set of human machine collaborative artworks Her work tries to reflect on various notions like landscapes organicity mimesis space geometry and the abstraction of the mind at the creative moment as an altered state of reality that surrounds the artist s work as she has a background as art historian her artistic practice cannot let apart the questioning about the historical aspects of this notions and her work is based in this ongoing and never ending questioning as a creative guide

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Polygonal Hysteria Atardecer en Marte Frecuencia binaria 41 Destroy a Square Color Tricks

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42 FRANCINE BOUGIE Weirsdale Creating art in all its forms Watercolor acrylics murals mixed medias collages poetry French English Reflections on Reflections Acrylics mixed medias on Yupo paper Haikus composed hand written surrounding artwork Framed dimensions 20 x27

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43 Reflections on Reflections

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44 BILL PARKER Haworth Instagram billparkerart I am a contemporary landscape abstract painter living in the Yorkshire village of Haworth home of the Bronte sisters Intense abstract landscape painting derived and inspired by daily walking on the historic moors and hills where I live

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45 Gone to Earth

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46 GAYATRI JAGTAP Instagram gayatri jagtap Website https web marcelforart com gayatri An architectural designer on a steady diet of art and science fiction currently based out of India Gayatri is an architect an artist and a photographer She holds a Masters degree in Architecture Design from the University of Nottingham UK Her artwork revolves around abstraction and new media a beautiful balanced amalgamation of abstract art and science fiction that allows the audience to tap into their curiosity and believe in the existence of the imaginary A lot of lines forms and geometric drama is what you ll stumble across as you scroll through this profile She has been a part of various exhibitions across London Athens Venice and Rome to name a few You ll see a lot of multimedia here I exaggerate and abstract the most trivial everyday themes into art pieces

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Helium Bubble Tile Fa ade Slime Metal Swirl 47

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48 PAYAM YASINI Tehran Instagram payamyasini I m Payam Yasini a visual artist who was born in Tehran Iran in 1971 I m an Honorary Member of Iran Visual Arts Development Center I am a PhD student in the philosophy of art and I hold an MFA and BFA in painting I work as an instructor at the Faculty of Art and Architecture at Tehran Azad University I have had numerous exhibitions in Iran since 1993 In 2019 I was among 30 selected artists from 120 international artists to participate in the Global Mosaic Exhibition at the Caravans org in Chicago USA Since 2017 my work has been published more than five times as a featured artist in British magazines including A5 magazine Wotisart and Average Art In 2019 I was selected as a promotional artist for the ARTDEX International Art Competition in New York USA and before that I was featured artist at ARTDEX in May Human values are important to me Concepts and values such as equality love altruism helping fellow human beings and other beings and preserving the environment are my main concerns in life and the creation of my works

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Old Loves 49

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50 SAKSHI SINGHAL Dar es Salaam Instagram craftstudio tz Hi everyone My name is Sakshi Singhal and I am a software engineer by profession and artist by choice I paint in different types of media including watercolor poster colors acrylics and oils I am based out of Tanzania with total experience of five years in teaching arts and crafts to kids and adults in different countries like India Dubai and Tanzania My brand name is CRAFTSTUDIO TZ and all of my work achievements and creativity can be seen on Instagram and Facebook under the same name My work has been recognized in multiple forums such as Rotary club The Citizen newspapers etc My motto towards formulating Craftstudio tz is to establish the fact that arts and crafts can influence the mindset of people and bring out the best imagination and creativity from inside I learned painting by watching my mother and how she used to teach her students during summer break From that I can easily say that anybody can draw and paint Thanks Sakshi Singhal I love to paint on daily events meaningful abstract etc

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51 Reminder March

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52 SHAWNEE BOLIN Mooreland Instagram Gigilovespoppop Painter of nature and animals Acrylic watercolor mix on 6 x9 acrylic paper

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53 Dragon s Eye Willow Watches Turtle

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54 OPEN EDUCATION AND APPLY All internship positions are unpaid but students ca professionals and anyone with a passion People Questions Contact us at culturallyoffice gm https www culturally K 12 Education International Education Coordinator Manager Task examples Scholastic partnerships educational resource development by arts teachers virtual field trips with professionals from our network and schools classes initiatives for low socioeconomic areas Evening for Educators course partnerships with schools and more Task examples Small group mentorship programs sending educational resources under collaborations with communities courses for schools and more For instance Ballet Beyond Boundaries is our program for virtual Saturday ballet classes for an underserved neighborhood in Colombia taught by a professional dancer

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55 D OUTREACH POSITIONS Y NOW an get service hours All positions open to students e from around the world are encouraged to apply mail com or DM us on Instagram culturallyarts yarts com get involved Education Education Expansion and Associate Recruitment Manager Work with education operations with any sub department You ll be assigned or you can pick projects in K 12 education international education professional development or expansion and recruitment Recruit educators course creators virtual class instructors resource developers conduct print and video interviews host live Art Talks increase partnerships with galleries institutions etc and more APPLY AT THE LINK ABOVE

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CULTURALLY 56 Our mission is for individuals to embrace their creativity and ignite their passion shaping a global platform working on tangible reform for accessibility and representation in the arts Our purpose is to advocate that art is for everyone and by everyone We work to utilize the arts for social justice efforts for students to use their passions for global change Our biggest advocacy effort is toward representation in the arts we have members branches and communities in 60 countries on 6 continents Culturally advocates for the inclusion of people from every background and corner of the world regardless of level of practice or socioeconomic means We aim to provide a platform for artists of all ages from emerging students to established artists to develop their craft through education We strive to provide the utmost professional development through opportunities with an international impact Our work is to eliminate and abolish the deeply ingrained elitist and exclusive stigmas around the arts so we offer an artist directory social media network interviews and more to increase opportunities for aspiring artists

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