Art usually isn’t effortless, even if the best of it looks that way. It doesn’t always bubble to the surface when the artist wants. And often it’s bottled up by external forces — discouragement by teachers, the absence of the right tools, a vision that hasn’t quite gelled.

But art will out. Sometimes it takes the right mentor or a good subject or a new technology to find expression, or a spiritual epiphany or just more time. But when art happens, a journey of self-discovery is invariably launched.

In this section, you’ll find art for art’s sake, art for personal revelation, political art, and art that tells our community’s stories and our movement’s history. “All artists speak with their paintbrushes,” says Dan Keplinger. Ultimately, all art speaks our experience.

Dan Keplinger: