Art hurts. Art urges voyages — and it is easier to stay at home.

Gwendolyn Brooks

On August 15, 1967, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks debuted her poem “Chicago's Picasso" as the city of Chicago unveiled a Pablo Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza. This line from the poem describes her own discomfort when engaging with visual art as someone unfamiliar with the discipline. “Art is … something that you have to work in the presence of,” she later said when interviewed about her poem. “You just can't stay in your comfortable old grooves. You have to extend yourself.” Brooks was telling herself and others that the extra effort, though difficult, is worth the push. Her words suggest that the thoughtfulness and the challenge brought on by viewing art can be transformative.