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This month, I would like to draw your attention to the art by Ashley Jun that you can find both on our cover and throughout the issue. Except for one digitally altered photograph (Trace, on page 35), all of Ashley’s artworks are abstract watercolors.

Bloom, the cover image, is peaceful and uplifting—the colors remind me of renewal, sunshine, and life. Monochrome, on the other hand, which I chose to pair with Meital Fried’s excellent, melancholy story “Mourning Dove”, captures the way I feel on my worst days: like the world is only black and white. Waterdrop also has a melancholy feel, but a softer one than Monochrome; it is blue, not black and white, and so conveys a feeling of blueness, which is closer to a rainy-day kind of sadness.

Finally, I want to address a question you may have: what do we mean when we call art “abstract”? Abstract art is nonrepresentational, which means it is made of shapes, patterns, and colors rather than images of places, objects, or things. A painting that is obviously “of” something is not abstract. Ashley’s painting Bloom is not a painting “of” a flower; instead, she has the used title in concert with the colors and shapes to evoke the feeling and idea of the flower.

This month, I challenge you to make some nonrepresentational art—this could mean writing a poem, play, or story that doesn’t make “sense,” or creating abstract works of art like Ashley.

Till next time,

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