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Art and Freedom

Last week at the Conversations with the 2019 Professional Artist Grantees I took away many pearls of wisdom from each of the esteemed artists. But there was one that has remained on my mind that I’d like to share with you in case you missed the event.


The Artist, Akiko Kotani, well known for her enormous feats of woven beauty such as the recently exhibited Falling Waters and Soft Walls, responded to the question of “How does an artist arrive to the place where they know they are professional?.” This inquiry led to the expounding of what it means to be successful but also beyond external gain, what does it mean to simply do the art?


Akiko said when she first discovered the enormous sense of freedom that doing her art gave her, she was hooked. To be unbounded, limitless in one’s thoughts and ideas is a state unparalleled for her and so in life and in her art, nothing less will do. This struck me as such a powerful idea in that all my life I have always been drawn to whatever makes me feel free. Whether conscious or unconsciously, there is a pull in that direction. Maybe it is for everyone but I certainly find it true for me.


In my artistic expression there is no one making demands upon me and I’m not making them on myself. It’s simply and purely a connection to my true nature. To create is what I came here to do and in that I find my bliss and ultimately my freedom.


This conversation brought me back to the idea of why I’m doing art in the first place and clears all self-imposed criteria that keeps one from knowing what it’s like to be totally free. Because we are.

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© 2019 by Christina Bertsos

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