October Artist Spotlight

Crysta Luke discusses the healing power of art


WHEN YOU LOOK AT one of Crysta Luke’s abstract paintings, you can feel it tug and stir, pulling you to a place you want — and maybe need — to go. It’s that bit of magic you can feel welling up inside; your breath quickens, and you must see more.

To make colors and forms ripple and dance and push emotion through the canvas — these are her gifts. A Decatur resident and Georgia native, Luke is both a mother and a painter. She is inspired by nature and wildlife, frequent – ing Hawk Hollow, the Eastlake Gardens, the Lake Claire Land Trust and the Atlanta Botani – cal Gardens, of which she is a member. She glows about her Oakhurst neighbors and their “beautiful, well-considered spaces,” while her own backyard sanctuary is filled with songbirds and owls. She is also inspired by “whatever is emotionally going on in life or in the world.” Luke creates both large and small formats, but regardless of the scale of each work, you can feel the depth to which she contemplates her inspiration and that moment of joy or grief — events she calls “the striking and pro – found,” worthy of processing into art.

“My work is part of my self care. If I didn’t express myself creatively, I don’t want to know what I would be like,” she admits with a chuckle. “Allowing yourself to be creative gets you out of whatever pain or suffering you are in, to some extent. It can be very grounding, and the tactile experience can be therapeutic.”

Luke is enormously grateful for her upbring – ing – her mother was a gardener and her father an engineer — and she credits both her parents for providing the encouragement and guidance to


pursue her lifelong artistic passion. With her parents’ blessing, Luke made the leap from pursuing a business degree to enrolling at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she earned a bachelor of fine arts in painting.
To anyone who is considering how to begin an artistic path, she says, “the important thing is to start and not to worry about the end result. People want to experience art – and that is always a beautiful thing.”

Crysta Luke’s art can be found and com – missioned online at crystaluke.com and also viewed in person and purchased at Sustain – able Home Goods in Ponce City Market or at Balance Design in Candler Park.

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