MY ART STORY by

Chandra Boyd

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma

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Woman and students sitting near artwork.

Chandra Boyd and her students with Orly Genger's installation Terra at Oklahoma Contemporary. Photo courtesy of Chandra Boyd

My connection to the arts is a personal one. I began taking dance at the age of four. Ballet, tap, and jazz lessons continued through high school graduation, and I even returned to ballet after college. I could not carry a tune, but after seeing the musical Annie when I was very young, I shuffled and shouted lyrics all around the house. To this day, musical theater is one of my favorite art forms. I have enjoyed a number of musicals from CATS, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables to In the Heights, Cabaret, and Hairspray. I even played the role of tap dancer in my school’s production of No, No, Nanette (lip synching of course). There was a short stint that I took piano lessons in high school. I love listening to all types of music, but practicing and performing pieces, pianissimo and patetico, was not my passion. Drawing was probably my favorite way to make art. My drawing of a flower received a first place ribbon in second grade. I took art classes in fifth grade, sketched fashion designs in middle school, and later took a college drawing course. The first artwork I remember seeing was a poster print of Georges Seurat’s The Circus in first grade. Those precise dots and precarious performers burned on my brain an image of happiness and beauty. I visited the original piece at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris after high school, and a few years later I viewed another Seurat favorite, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Art has always been at the heart of my travels. Experiencing art, studying art history, writing about art, and helping others to learn about artworks has proved to not only be my passion but my profession. I was a museum educator for more than 15 years, and now I am an arts administrator for our state arts agency. I even taught an art appreciation course at the local community college. My city is filled with beautiful studios, galleries and museums, and engaging public art. And the people who share my passion are committed to making this one of the most vibrant and creative places to live, learn, and work. I even met my husband at one of our city's best museums. Our home is filled with works of art by local artists and friends, and we are raising our daughter to have deep appreciation and enjoyment of the arts as well. The arts and humanities have shaped who I am and how I see the world around me, and I can't imagine a more beautiful way to live.