I discovered my passion for art in high school when my European History teacher incorporated art history into our lessons. I found myself excited to see what the Dutch painted as their maritime industry boomed and how the Spanish responded visually to civil war. After high school, I continued my exploration in art by majoring in it in college, volunteering and working in organizations dedicated to it, and generally involving myself with it as much as possible.
So what does being an art nerd have to do with allergies?
When I see a work of art I have studied but never seen before in person, or one that simply intrigues me, I am transported into the details of the brushstrokes, the color palette, the creative process, the texture of the paint, and every other visual element of the painting. If it’s a sculpture, I walk around and around, standing close and then backing away and then moving in again, taking in the lines of the marble or the shapes of the metal.
I completely lose myself in the act of looking. And at no point in my looking do I wonder if I need antihistamines for this.
As such, art is not only a passion but one of the greatest forms of escapism for living with allergies. In a world where countless experiences might lead to the Emergency Room – or at least to the nearest pharmacy to drink Benadryl straight from the bottle – I take great joy in the moments dedicated to simply observing, studying, and adoring. My art appreciation is further underscored by the places in which it is exhibited. Given the nature of art and its preciousness, museums and galleries are my happy place, generally free from any potential triggers. The floors are bare. The walls are stark. No food and beverage are allowed. In almost every single art museum and gallery is a deliberate omission of food, pets, fabrics, balloons, nature, mold, pollen, scents, medicines, and pretty much anything that may initiate an allergic reaction.
As such, the presence of art plus the absence of allergens equals an unparalleled place and space of enjoyment, safety, and joyful living with allergies.
Off to see the next exhibition!