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The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

The unique nature of an artist can be considered art itself. What sets great artists apart may not be their talents but their circumstances. While we know much of our destinies are determined by the decisions we make, remnants of happenstance hover over many of the artists we know and love.

No one understands this better than Concetta Antico, who, in 2012, received news that would change her life and send her already successful art career into high gear.

The Making of an Artist

To Concetta, art and life have always been one in the same. Her love of art began at the age of seven, when she found herself fascinated by color. This was around the time she started painting. Even at a young age her peers recognized the Australian native’s creative talent.
America's Finest City Lights, San Diego 10x10Now in San Diego, the place she considers home, Concetta’s days begin at the sight of color. The moment she opens her eyes she feels inspired by the color variations outside her windows and inside her home. Even the different fibers found in her wood floors can captivate this color connoisseur. These everyday sightings are what encourage Concetta to paint extraordinary works of art.

As an oil painter, Concetta paints each piece of art in one sitting and may accomplish 12 or more paintings per month. (With an exhibit on the horizon she has been known to paint up to 30 pieces in that time.) As it may seem, there is no time for creative blocks in Concetta’s world, although, she rarely feels confined by the age-old artist’s plague. Each day Concetta’s appreciation for art is renewed as she takes in the millions of shades, tones and hues that color her world.

Beyond her own art, Concetta also owns and operates an oil painting school called The Salon of Art (http://www.thesalonofart.com/). In her 25 years of teaching, she has instructed over 15,000 people on how to paint.

At a glance, it seems Concetta Antico has lived multiple lives, all dedicated to the pursuit of art. But these are merely chapters of a single story; the story of an artist. And the current chapter, the one where she and her art become known throughout the world, is only just beginning.

Behind the Artist’s Eyes

Concetta describes some of her recent fame as a result of being at the right place at the right time. And to some degree, this is true. In fact, had Concetta’s life not unfolded the way it has, the world may still not fully understand tetrachromacy, a condition where a person possesses four types of cone cells (independent channels for conveying colors) in the eye. It is typical to possess three cone cells but not four. Ultimately, a person with tetrachromacy, or a tetrachromat, may see 99 million more colors than the average person.

Rainbow Gully, Mission Hills, SD 12×16 Hi resConcetta Antico is the world’s first tetrachromat artist, a combination that some researchers have dubbed “The Perfect Storm.” One reason why few people know about tetrachromacy is because not many people know they are seeing more colors than other people. Concetta, on the other hand, has been immersed in color her entire life. Therefore, she is a highly functioning tetrachromat who fully embraced her condition before she knew it was there. This is why Concetta is able to help researchers better understand 2-3 percent of the world’s population that have four color cones. Tetrachromacy involves a unique connection between one’s eyes and brain. Sometimes, people who are unaware they are tetrachromat’s have not allowed their brains to recognize the large amount of colors their eyes take in. Because Concetta has been using color her entire life, her brain is quick to recognize assortments of color that others (even fellow tectrachromats) cannot process.

However, if it weren’t for being at the right place at the right time Concetta may not have learned she has tetrachromacy. Nor would the world have the first artist who can shed light on what it is like to see life through rich color.

Recognizing Tetrachromacy

Two separate occasions led Concetta to the team of researchers who would genotype her as a tetrachromat. The first was a trip to an optometrist with her daughter, and the second came in the form of an email from one of her students.

Peacock Tango! 40x60 Hi ResIn 2009, Concetta’s then 8-year-old daughter came home from school with an uncommon concern. She couldn’t see the board when her teacher wrote on it in orange. It seemed like a case of colorblindness, which is odd because it is very rare for girls to be colorblind. However, a trip to the eye doctor proved that Concetta, a lifelong lover of color, had a daughter with colorblindness.

Concetta didn’t think too much of the rarity in her line of DNA until a student of hers, Wendy Martin, sent her an email about a genetic factor that may influence how some individuals see color. Wendy was a research scientist herself and had noted an “alchemy” in Concetta’s work. When Wendy told the artist/teacher that she couldn’t put her finger on what made the art unique, Concetta joked that it must be her fourth receptor. Shortly after this conversation, Wendy sent Concetta an email with an article that connected the dots of her unique talent. The article stated that a person with four receptors could, in fact, have a colorblind daughter.

On this day in November, 2012, Concetta emailed the authors of the article, thus taking the first step in recognizing what the world knows her for today. Concetta Antico is a tetrachromat.

Same Art, New Fame

What has changed since receiving this news? Concetta still wakes up inspired by colors outside her windows and inside her home; she still owns and teaches at The Salon of Art; she completes each painting in one sitting. But on top of these decades-long practices, Concetta now has a press career. With the eloquence of a tenure educator, the accent of an Australian empress, and the poise of an internationally renowned artist, Concetta grants interviews about her artwork and how tetrachromacy influences her craft.

There is no doubt that Concetta’s talent and work ethic are worthy of fame, but much of this new wave of success has come from her accepting and embracing a DNA condition that is propelling her career to new heights.

Idyll Hours ~ Daisy Days 24×36 Hi ResSo in an exclusive interview with Concetta Antico, the world’s first tetrachromat artist, Segmation has one burning question: What is your favorite color?

Her response might come as a surprise. “White,” she says.

An artist who is known to live in a world of color is most drawn to the color white. Some might argue that white is not a color, but those people are not tetrachromats. “Everything speaks to me,” explains Concetta. “It’s hard to detach from color. It is a huge component of everything I do.” She also expresses that colors like red and yellow are too strong. To her, white is peaceful. And let us not forget, to a tetrachromat, even white is a mosaic of color.

Images made available by Concetta Antico.

How did the yellow school bus come about anyways?

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Love it or hate it, yellow is here to stay. The color wheel’s brightest shade can be seen on the road every day. But neither cars nor trucks have the unique yellow paint jobs that belong to school buses. How did the yellow school bus come about anyways? And why are school buses still being painted this shade?

History of the Yellow School Bus

Knowing the colorful history of yellow school buses sheds light on this timeless tradition. The lineage of the school bus dates back to the 1930s when a man by the name of Frank Cyr conducted an in depth study of student transportation vehicles throughout the United States.

At the beginning of his research, Cyr, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, was observing school buses that cost (on average) $2,000. Quickly he found out that these vehicles had little in common. Various manufacturers, schools, and districts used different buses.

This inspired him to call a conference of educators in spring 1939. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss a standard protocol for school buses. The end result was a 42 page manual that discussed the ins and outs of the school bus. In this manual, the color was declared: national school bus chrome.

National School Bus Yellow

In 2010, the questionable use of “chrome” was exchanged for “yellow”. Still, the color seen on school buses today was the color decided at the conference over seven decades ago. The precise shade of yellow was taken so seriously, that a committee was appointed just to decided which one of 50 shades of yellow would appear on the school bus.

Why has the Color not Changed?

Once national school bus yellow was decided, it became a nationwide mandate. One of the original reasons for the broad directive was because school bus manufacturers “had to have different booths to spray-paint them.” More so, the color became a universal symbol of student transportation.

In fact, most Americans have been raised in environments where yellow school buses shuttle children to and from school. It is hard to imagine life without them.

Source:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/why-are-school-buses-yellow-a-teachers-college-professor-said-so/

If you enjoyed this Segmation blog post, you are sure to love:

– All About Yellow Pigments

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/all-about-yellow-pigments/

– Sunflowers are Summer’s Glory

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/sunflowers-are-summers-glory/

– Art and Science – A Genius Combination

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/paint-by-number-art-and-science-a-genius-combination/

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Color Inspires Runners

Art is inspirational and valuable in many facets of life and society, including business, education, and entertainment. It is art that often stirs passion and gives many a reason for living. Indeed, our society is built partially on the foundation of the legacy of great artists and excellent works of art. But can art, or elements of art, inspire individuals in the fitness realm? It can and does. Just ask any individual involved in The Color Run™.

The Color Run™ is basically a three-mile run that is marked by bright, beautiful, and bold colors at various points in the course. The focus of The Color Run™ is not necessarily athletic ability, but “crazy color fun with friends and family.” The point of The Color Run™ is to take white t-shirt-clad runners and smear them with rainbow colors by the end of the 3-mile (5k) race.

There are only a couple of rules enforced by The Color Run™. One rule is that runners must begin the course wearing proper running attire, which in this case includes a plain white t-shirt. The second and last rule is that runners must be covered in color by the race’s end.

The Color Run™ uses different colors at specific kilometers (or COLOR RUN Zones) in the race. As athletes pass through the zones they become running works of art as Color Run™ workers “blitz” them with vibrant shades of color. The colors typically used are blue, orange, pink, and yellow. Apparently the colors employed by The Color Run™ are safe enough to eat, although it is not recommended.

There are plenty of The Color Run™ locations throughout the United States and Australia. A few of those locations include Salt Lake City, Portland, Cincinnati, Miami, Nashville, San Diego, Hawaii, Charlotte, and Orlando. There are many other locations as well. Registration for most of these events is still open, and individuals can register for The Color Run™ in their city by visiting http://thecolorrun.com/locations/.

Does art, or aspects of art, such as color, inspire you to greater levels of fitness? That’s what it’s doing for thousands of people throughout the world. There seems to truly be no limit to the ways art and color can benefit humanity.

Note: The images represented in this blog post do not belong to Segmation; they were found at http://www.insego.org/caluwe-test-what-color-are-you/ and http://neurorelays.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/color-psychology-of-consumer-decision-making/.

http://thecolorrun.com/about/

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Art Alive

If you’ve never been to the San Diego Museum of Art for their yearly event, Art Alive, this is the year you should participate. The San Diego Museum of Art challenges floral designers to make the artistic masterpieces housed in their museum come alive through their floral interpretations. This four day event, beginning April 12 and ending on April 15, will fill the museum with thousands of flowers and, hopefully, thousands of visitors. The pictures in this blog post are examples of what you can expect to see at Art Alive.

Floral designers of all levels, from amateur to professional, gather at the museum to create floral sculptures that mimic famous pieces of art. The sculptures of flower arrangements depict images painted on canvas, from portraits to landscapes. Throughout the four day-long festivities, these living floral arrangements will be placed beside the famous pieces of art they are interpreting.

The museum’s masterpieces truly come alive as they are interpreted by these creative floral designers. You will be surprised and delighted to see how imagination comes alive when flowers meet with paint. The floral designers make use of light, color, and structural ingenuity to make these canvas paintings take on a new dimension. Art Alive celebrates artistic masterpieces of all types.

The four day-long event will be packed with activities. The event begins with an opening celebration on April 12 and includes a dinner for guests and a sneak peek at the Art Alive floral designs with their painted counterparts. The exhibition is open to the public beginning April 13. The Art Alive exhibition will also included fun events for children and families. These events will be geared towards the idea that art is alive.

Flowers After Hours is another nighttime event in which guests can peruse the floral art exhibit while sampling tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Behind the scenes, these floral designers are competing hard to create their own artistic masterpieces inspired by the famous works located at the San Diego Museum of Art.

If you plan on visiting the Art Alive exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art, be prepared to pay an entry fee. Rest assured that this fee is going to a good cause–Art Alive is one of the museum’s greatest fundraising events. The proceeds will go towards special exhibitions, educational outreach programs, and art conservation projects.

Can you imagine a more perfect way to usher in Spring?

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