“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” –Edgar Degas
I was five years old when I first laid eyes on it: Jan Vermeer’s The Girl with a Red Hat. It was hanging in The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and I remember it as if it had been just a few years ago, not over five decades. There was something about that painting, something mysterious, something that would change my life forever. The way she looked at me, and I, knowing that the painting was over 300 years old, understood even then that that gaze of hers was from a long, long time ago. I knew then that the woman was now dead, but that she still lived on that canvas, staring back at me from the past. It was as if she was still alive. And I somehow knew that this was what I would do with my life–I would be in the arts.