Art has the power to stop you in your tracks, release your anxiety and worries for the day, and make you feel human again. When we see a mural while walking down the street, it helps heighten our gaze up towards something beautiful, something that is making a statement, instead of staring at our feet as we walk quickly on the sidewalk, passing traffic, avoiding eye contact with strangers. When we see a painting, or colors splashed on the wall, it makes us stop and center ourselves amidst the chaos of our days. University of Toronto’s Oshin Vartanian (https://www.utoronto.ca/news/your-brain-art-q-oshin-vartanian) explains that cognitive and emotional areas of the brain are being activated and tickled while looking at art, as well as the parts of the brain responsible for processing scenery, memories, faces, colors. It makes sense then that art has been a center piece of the human cultural experience for thousands of years, and has surely made an impact on our evolutional has human beings.
Tao Mexico (http://taomexico.com/), a forward-thinking real estate development company nestled in the Riviera Maya, and its Tao Foundation have been supporting local communities, artists, and initiatives in order to foster a connection between its residents and surrounding communities. This past month Artist Lauren Napolitano (http://laurenapolitano.com/) visited the Tao Inspired Living Community in Akumal, and beautified the Tao Wellness Center and surrounding area with murals inspired by her Mexican Heritage. The Tao Inspired Living Community was developed with the intention of being a part of nature, while fostering a sense of wellness and belonging. The Wellness Center attracted Lauren because of its energy. We asked Lauren a few questions about what inspires her about Mexico, her process, and her art.
Irena: What inspires you about Mexico?
Lauren: I love creating in Mexico because it helps me feel more connected to my ancestors. My mother is from Northern Mexico so when I am creating and exploring the lands of my ancestors there is something within me that just feels at home. The pace of life, the breeze flowing through the palms, the colors of the ocean, its all day inspiration really, and not just visual, emotional inspiration as well.
Irena: Where is your favorite place to paint?
Lauren: My favorite place to paint is in small towns with kids running around everywhere. As a woman painter, I especially love to see the excitement in a young girls eyes as she watches a woman bring out and set up her own tools and paint a wall on her own. I don’t think young boys or girls see enough empowered women. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when I’m working on gallery paintings, I love being all alone in headphones, copal and candles burning, there has to be a very tranquil vibe for me to set up and paint.
Irena: How did the environment at Tao influence your project
Lauren: I love that Tao has kept so much of the jungle spirit alive in the wellness center. Being able to choose wherever I wanted was a huge plus, so I chose the spot I thought was the most dynamic and could be seen from most angles. So very grateful to everyone there for making it such a wonderful experience. Hope to be back soon!
By Irena Stanisic for TYT
Irena Stanisic is marketing manager for Tao Mexico, a real estate development company in Akumal, Quintana Roo.
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