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Taylor Hendrix
Excellence Award Winner
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Painting immerses you in its rich history and vast creative potential to find your unique voice.

A substance whose use dates back to cave paintings is now launching a renaissance of research. The naturally occurring hallucinogen of psilocybin, a compound found in certain mushroom varieties, is catapulting into the public eye as studies reveal its potential to treat those with a history of depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. Its ability to dissolve mental roadblocks leads to a catharsis—a release that lifts the emotional weight off.

I am interested in painting the psychedelic experience, both representationally and abstractly, in order to communicate psilocybin’s alternative reality and its positive and persisting aftereffects. My art captures the transformed consciousness, where patterns of the brain shift and hypnotic visual patterns begin to surface. Through a painting process of careful rendering, undulating brushstrokes, and pushes and pulls of reverberating color, I recall my own healing experiences. When a white wall can suddenly become a mural of pearlescent fractals, a breath of life bathes the previously monotonous. The suspension of linear time and the shedding of one’s ego makes life’s problems feel nothing more than a blip on the radar. By seeing life through a sharper, clearer lens, the process of self-help can begin. New understandings are a salient takeaway from the experience itself, which extends to bigger questions relating to why we are apprehensive of a substance that can potentially bridge a gap in modern medicine.

What is your most memorable

experience at KCAD?

I really enjoyed setting up a group gallery show with some of my peers a few years ago.

What are your most

notable accomplishments?

I'm proud of the scholarships I've earned, being on the President's List every semester, and volunteering as a kids' art instructor at Fulton Heights Salvation Army.

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