Performance Painter David Garibaldi painted Kendrick Lamar for QAS
Performance Painter David Garibaldi painted Kendrick Lamar for QAS

How Art Keeps Us Motivated

Finding a Voice and Relationships in Art

Activism doesn’t have to have only one lens. There are different outlets you can have to do productive work and fight for liberation.

By Kyerah Kyles '22

For Quarter at Aggie Square guest speaker David Garibaldi, expressing himself through creative outlets comes naturally. He has had the opportunity to use that ability for good and inspire others through performance painting and arts education. Part of the beauty of art is the fact that it does not have to be monolith. During the live question and answer section with David, I brought up that activism also does not have to have only one lens, relating to something learned this quarter. There are different outlets a person can have in order to do productive work and fight for liberation. I made this comment to acknowledge other artists that use their creations to spark conversations about different social injustices. 

This got me thinking about the variety of ways art can also be used to create different voices of expression. For TJS students Noemi Gregorio and Stacy Lopez, artistic expression is about understanding themselves and their emotions and creating that relationship from their past to their present. When allowed the opportunity to act on this creativity, it can create positive experiences.

In order to tap into our own creativity David challenged us to

  1. Create on a schedule
  2. Pay attention to what inspires us
  3. Consider various mediums of art expression, there is so much out there especially now - writing, animation, poetry, music, graphic design, painting, fashion, film, photography, digital media, and more. 

Personal Style as Artistic Expression

Noemi Gregorio at the UC Davis Gate
Personal style is TJS student Noemi Gregorio's form of artistic expression.

For TJS student Noemi Gregorio, her expression shines through her style and how she presents herself. This is important to her because her style is representative of her mood. She enjoys being able to change her hairstyle, nail color, clothes, and more because she feels comfortable in trying new things in order to be creative. Her style explains how she is feeling even when she does not have the words to do so herself. 

Noemi signifies the beginning of her appreciation for art when she noticed the various murals and art pieces in her neighborhood.

The art in her neighborhood had greater meaning for her because she lived in an area that was known for negative connotations. Because Noemi saw multiple beautiful art pieces around her, it took away some of the negative connotations she grew up with because it signaled that her area mattered.

To see these artworks meant people cared about her neighborhood because they took the time to create a beautiful piece for everyone to enjoy. 

Making and Sharing Music: Stacy Lopez a/k/a DJ Azúcar

Stacy Lopez at KDVSArt expression in the form of music is nothing new for fellow cohort peer Stacy Lopez. “Seeing art as an art has led me to take risks and find new hobbies, such as joining a jazz group here on campus and sharing my music with the Davis community through our local radio station KDVS.” For Stacy, art has been an outlet for her to cope with different situations, especially when she is creating playlists for her show. Music has been more influential than she would have imagined because her experiences have taught her “more about time management and group bonding”. Stacy goes by the DJ name Azúcar, which means sugar in Spanish--she wants to come off as sweet to her audience. Her relationship with music began with her father and his own passion for it. She describes growing up listening to a band from his home city that he always played, “Café Tacvba”. The name of her show, Café Amargo seeks inspiration from that experience.  

Tap into your Creative Expression

For a long time, I would say that I wasn’t artistic and that I did not have that creative bone in me. I was initially hesitant to take an art class because of the feeling that I lacked artistic skills. Because art was a requirement, I had no choice but to take the class, and I realized I was more artistic than I originally believed. I learned that when I took the time to sit and actually put time into what I was trying to create, I could be artistic in the form of drawing. I was genuinely surprised by the pieces I created and it was because of that class drawing and painting is something I do from time to time. 

This shows the importance of arts in schools because it results in exposure for students. I would not have known that drawing was something I was even remotely interested in and capable of doing if I did not have that class. This is why funding for arts programs should be emphasized because while it is only a hobby for me, it has the potential to turn into something more for others. Early introduction to art can lead to limitless opportunities because it is all around us and being used for skill development, in so many career fields, and brings communities together. With proper funding in schools, art can be offered and student’s talents can be honed in on from a younger age. Having a creative outlet and appreciating different forms of art can also have a positive impact on our social and mental well being to keep us going.  It is a part of our language of expression, our history, and our future.  Are you up for the challenge to tap into your own creativity? 


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