I hope you are all doing well.

Because this issue of Artists Are Always Right is the last one of the year, this UP FRONT will be a
bit longer than usual. I hope you'll read all of it because I have some important thoughts to share
with you. I'll begin with the fun stuff.

The SPOTLIGHT is this issue is a very lighthearted look at a particular group of actors. Each one
of them is capable of captivating an audience. In other words, they all have charm, charisma, talent,
and are exceedingly photogenic. Each one also happens to have four legs. I'm talking about actors
who are of the canine and feline species, along with a few other species as well.

Due to their popularity throughout the world, I felt that these actors deserved a SPOTLIGHT all their
own. It is appropriately entitled, Some Actors Have Four Legs. Some titles are easy to arrive at!
I hope this amusing SPOTLIGHT evokes fond memories and brings a smile to your face.
I am pleased to announce that the next issue of Artists Are Always Right will be a very special one! The reason for this is because
the January/February 2023 issue will mark the fifth anniversary of this journal! How time flies when you're being creative! Artists
Are Always Right
has featured many different artists and their creative accomplishments during the past five years, and the
upcoming anniversary issue will definitely be a celebration of this fact! Be sure not to miss it!

What I have to say from here on will be of a much more serious nature. It will comprise my annual wish (actually three wishes) for
the coming new year as well as some thoughts regarding the state of affairs for artists and humanity in general at this present time
in history.

It doesn't take a financial expert to see how bad things are today. A trip to the grocery store, a fill up at a gas station, the cost to heat
a home, or the additional expense in purchasing a major household appliance is something we can all feel in our wallets. If things
get really bad when it comes to food prices and availability, I wouldn't be surprised to see people lining up for Soylent Green!
Believe me when I say that I am in no way trying to be funny by saying that!

The present economy, unfortunately, affects artists most especially. If people are having a difficult time buying the essentials of life
such as food, they won't have the extra money to buy much in the way of art.

Having said that, it doesn't take someone like Nostradamus to see that in order for things to improve in the world, big changes are
needed regarding the powers that be. In other words, those in control who are responsible for the problems we are all facing. It is
up to each and every one of us to help make these changes take place. Otherwise, things will very likely get much worse.

The dark forces in the world may look upon any free-thinking individual (such as an artist) who they cannot control as being a lunatic.
As George Orwell wrote in his novel, 1984..."Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one." Which brings me to my first wish
(and toast) for the new year...Here's to that "one" in all of us!

In a very real sense, we are standing at a fork in the road. Which road we take is entirely up to us. Whether we allow ourselves to be
led down the road whose ultimate destination lacks any hope or promise, or to make the intelligent effort to embark on the road
which is comprised of creative possibilities and a bright future.

On a somewhat antonymous note, I just glanced out my window (at a little past 6pm) and noticed that it is nearly dark outside.
The days are indeed growing shorter. In the region of the planet where I live, the air is turning cooler and the leaves on the deciduous
trees are showing their true colors. These changes in nature remind me that the holidays will soon be here and that it will be time,
once again, for Snoopy (a very talented animated canine actor) to decorate his doghouse and Charlie Brown to find the true
meaning of Christmas.

At my age, the holiday season is mostly a quiet time when I find myself reminiscing about the past and the people I love and have
lost. So too, it is a time when I find comfort in the present and give thanks for my many blessings, most especially my soul partner
and wife, Karen, and our shared future goals. Lastly, it is a time when I pray for a future, and a world, which is much more humane
(especially for the animals) and far less violent than it is today.

While the future is always uncertain, I find it comforting to trust in the positive actions of all the truly good people in the world,
particularly my fellow artists who have the ability to not only entertain others, but to show everyone a better future through their
creative dreams.

Like John Lennon and countless other artists, past and present, I too am a dreamer. I believe with all of my heart and soul that
nothing can stop a dream from becoming reality, so long as that dream originates in a positive light. Therefore, my second wish
(and toast) for the new year is...Here's to dreams!

As the final chapter of another year comes to a close, I would like to take this time to pose a question to all of you. It is a question
which I've likely touched upon before in my writings, but one which I feel bears repeating. My question is this. Who is the greatest
artist of all time?

Might the answer to this question be Vincent van Gogh? How about Alfred Hitchcock? Perhaps it's Michael Jackson or Lucille Ball?
Could it be Ansel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Glenn Miller, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly, Ludwig van Beethoven, or Georgia O'Keeffe?
Is there, in fact, a greatest artist (other than God) of all time? Who can say?

I can! The greatest artist of all time is any painter who turns a blank canvas into a vision of incredible delight. The greatest artist of
all time is any photographer or filmmaker who peers through a viewfinder and envisions a world that others cannot see. The greatest
artist of all time is any writer who taps the letters on a keyboard to create sentences of thought never before written, or any actor
who delivers a performance which appears completely real and natural, using those very same words.

So too, the greatest artist of all time is any composer who arranges musical notes in such a way that touches the soul, any musician
who, as if by magic, makes those notes come to life and soar through the air, or any dancer who moves to that music with strength,
grace, and poetic purpose. The greatest artist of all time is, in fact, any creative person who succeeds in doing the seemingly
impossible and adds yet another thread to the tapestry of our artistic legacy. This includes every artist reading these words!

My closing thought for this UP FRONT is something we should always keep in mind. Evil destroys and good creates. This basic
truth will never change. Artists know this well because artists are the ones who dare to look most deeply into the glass of life and
drink it all in. How tremendously thirsty we are!

With that said, I offer my third wish (and toast) for the new year...Here's to all the good that artists will create in 2023!

Have a safe, joyous and peaceful holiday season!

Until we connect again…

                                                                                                                                    Douglas Schwartz, Publisher and Editor
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