Art is Catharsis and Declaration

By Morgan Bricca July 16, 2020

Art alchemizes fear into a higher vision, pain into possibility, loneliness into community.
Art is catharsis and declaration.
Art is omen and medicine. Atoning. Attuning.
Art is the subconscious craning to be attended, transcendence embodied.
Art is the Divine’s search light.
Art unifies us.
Art is now a matter of urgency.

I received these words yesterday in my inbox from one of my favorite soul-coaches, Danielle LaPorte. It’s the first time I’ve seen her write about art specifically, but her words rang timely and true to me.

Students will be welcomed back to Van Deene Elementary in Torrance, CA with a new mural

Last week I received an apologetic call from a city art commissioner expressing concern over the optics of spending money on art when so many small businesses on Main street were struggling. I understand the concern, but to me, it is a short-sighted approach. While every community is hit hard right now, in the long run, communities with strong public art programs thrive in a way that communities without art don’t. Art can get to the heart of issues faster than words, and resonate directly at a soul level. It can connect us where words and individual identities divide. I am moved by the significance of the Black Lives Matter word art along 16th Street in Washington D.C., by the MET sharing freely from their opera archives nightly, and by the updated playlist on one of my favorite Spotify stations, Pollen. These creative responses help us connect and understand the world in a new way. We need art now more than ever.

This mural of Great Thunberg was the first remotely political mural I ever painted. The oncoming train gives a sense of uneasy urgency more potent than words.

Art is also how you show up. (The most powerful creative expression we have.) I was listening to Van Jones explain why he looks police officers in the eye and thanks them for their service at the protests he attends. Police have become a catch-all for broader but chronically ignored gaps in how we care for all members of our community. How can we show up (creatively) in a way that both protests abuse of power and also engages us (everyone, together, we) towards positive solutions?

When considering how you show up, remember that intentionally delighting others is also an art form. I have noticed around my community playful chalk art, rocks painted with words of encouragement, and people looking out for each other in remarkable ways. I love it. Being of service is an art form that we can all participate in.

A mural transforms how the yard feels at a private residence in Campbell, CA.

I am experiencing the increased time at home as a gift. Rushing and focusing only on productivity tends to stamp out the eddies of creativity that want to run through my days. I hope you are enjoying the slow down, and finding your own creative eddies to splash in.

Enjoy your summer,

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.