Have you ever taken a moment to sit back, relax, and take in the scenery around you? Notice how beauty and art daily yell out bursting before your eyes, ears, nose, and maybe tongue. Everything we do may incorporate one form of art or another, if we only pay attention. Art is brought to life by our personal interaction with it, how we engage with something of interest, passion, or awe.
I have never considered myself a very artistic person. Nevertheless, I’d like to share with you some extraordinary experiences on how art has played a role throughout my life, and hope to increase understanding of where we may find beauty. Flashback to 2007, I was a middle-schooler who enjoyed staying active, being social, and discovering new possibilities.
I remember as if it was yesterday, my charter school’s music teacher was selecting multiple students (there were about 30 of us) to practice and explore being in a band. One day I was escorted out of class and summoned by Mr. Ortiz for the selection process. As I walked through the classroom door, suddenly an instrument layout was placed in front of me with the question, “What instrument would you like to play?”. The question was both intriguing and difficult; I never thought I would learn a musical instrument. All I had done my whole life up until this point was sing.
Charlie Ortiz provided the opportunity for me to discover a new form of art in my life. As I tried to decide which instrument would attract me, he suggested, “Hector I see you as a potentially talented trumpet player”, from that moment a musical journey was born. From middle school into high school I spent my years constantly at after school practices, talent shows, music festivals, and gigs. One of the most memorable of them all was an October night in center city Philadelphia. The condensed band of about 15 members was preparing backstage in two dressing rooms at one of the city’s popular venues; the one and only broad street Kimmel Center.
Another way art has influenced my life is through journaling and storytelling. Since the age of 12 I regularly wrote about life-changing experiences. Once an idea ignited in my heart I couldn’t resist the need to express in depth its full complexity. Why do I find beauty in the art of writing? How I grew up shaped my perspective of journaling. Would you believe me if I told you at around the age of 5, I was mute? Words were not my form of expression, but instead I found I could communicate best with sound. I could not comprehend speech, but understood being spoken to from others. Later on as I eventually learned to speak, I ran into another mental roadblock: difficulty reading.
From elementary to middle school I always remained below basic reading levels. Around 7th grade I was introduced and placed into an academic reading program that would help students develop reading habits and comprehension. Afterwards, I quickly excelled in English courses reading and analyzing challenging literature and placed into honor courses, then AP English senior year of high school.
I have seen beauty in display through life’s greatest moments whether challenging or victorious. Dare to exercise your God-given talents or find art and beauty through admiration of others’ authentic masterpieces. Art is how you express yourself to the fullest, surpassing limitations. It is all around us and steadily reveals itself through various forms.