Art-Inspired New Year’s Resolutions

by Jessica Fuentes January 1, 2023

Going into the new year, it is common to consider things we’d like to change or improve. The tradition can be dated back about 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians, who held the first recorded celebrations honoring the new year and making promises to their gods to pay their debts and return borrowed items. Though the kinds of resolutions we make have changed with the times, setting goals for the new year is still a common tradition.

On this, the first day of 2023, I take inspiration from the countless works of art I’ve seen across the state of Texas and beyond to guide my resolutions. I’m sharing them here, as some may resonate with our readers.

A photograph of a part of a larger installation by Guadalupe Rosales. The photograph shows an infinity box with pink and purple neon lights that appear to go on forever. The box also features three images and text that has been etched into the glass.

A detail from Guadalupe Rosales’ “Drifting on a Memory,” at the Dallas Museum of Art.

1. Take time for self-reflection, personally and professionally.

An installation that includes a large rectangle of wallpaper with a repeated mango design, a framed box full of colorful hand-crafted ceramic spoons, and several shelves covered with embroidered napkins and holding sculpture of Puerto Rican food items. Artwork by Sheryl Anaya.

Installation image of work by Sheryl Anaya.

2. Celebrate your culture and learn about others’.

A painting by Carol Ivey of her Lancaster Loft studio. The painting shows an arched window with a short bookcase below it. There are two chairs set facing each other and small table with a teapot. Large dried plants stand against one wall.

Carol Ivey, “Stepping Back,” 2018, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.

3. Make your environments beautiful, and appreciate their beauty.

A gallery with two red walls, each wall has dark red silhouettes of objects that were not available to be hung in the gallery. In front of the wall is a table top with images of each of the objects for visitors to look at and guess where the object was supposed to hang.

An interactive exhibition featuring silhouettes of artworks that were in storage or on loan at the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain de Nice.

4. Approach challenges with creativity.

A photograph of a fabric work by Nancy K. Fisher. The piece resembles smooth stones on raked sand.

Nancy K Fisher, “Seeking Solace,” hand dyeing, hand appliqué, free motion quilting on cotton and linen. On view at LHUCA, Lubbock, July 2022.

5. Find peaceful moments of solitude.

A painting by Aliyah Cydonia featuring a nude Black figure in a pose similar to the "crow" yoga position.

A painting by Aliyah Cydonia. On view at Daisha Board Gallery, Dallas, April 2022.

6. Increase your flexibility, physically and otherwise.

A soft and intricate painting of a forest by Jack Hoyer.

Jack Hoyer, “Solstice Woods,” 2017, oil on linen, 46 x 51 3/4 x 2 inches. On view at the Dallas Art Fair, April 2022.

7. Spend more time in nature.

A photograph of four women mid-performance in a gallery.

A performance during the opening reception of “Tina Medina: A Retrospective” at the Latino Cultural Center, Dallas.

8. Step outside your comfort zone. (This is made easier when you have the support of those closest to you.)

A painting from the Dallas Museum of Art's collection on view at the National Portrait Gallery alongside other related paintings.

Eugène Delacroix, “Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban,” 1827. Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Patricia McBride. On view in “Afro-Atlantic Histories” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

9. See familiar people or things in new contexts.

A painting and drawing featuring a pair of legs, on top of which the image of a bridge has been drawn.

David A. Cook, “Standing Plans,” 1988, acrylic and graphite on paper. On view at the Old Jail Art Center, Albany, August 2022. Gift of Reilly Nail.

10. Step out and go see some (more) art.

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