An artist's primary challenge is to make the invisible, visible—to give shape to the abstract: our emotions, our innermost thoughts and fears. Take, for example, the following sentence: Every nine minutes, 300,000 pounds of plastic is dumped into the ocean. How would an artist express that information? Not just the fact of it, but the feeling?

Chances are, for most of us, the magnitude of those words, once read, drifts away easily, like a plastic bag in an ocean current. It's up to the artist to anchor it: in our hearts, in our minds, in our conscience.

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