For our creative’s question in this issue, we asked VIE contributors if they could imagine a world without art. Not shockingly, the responses settled on a profound distaste for such a reality. This art issue is particularly poignant, as the current state of affairs can make it challenging to communicate with words — and that’s where the arts come in. Gifted creatives share their perspectives on loss, love, beauty, and connection through various mediums in this visual treat of an issue. Stunningly, in the feature story, fine artist Chandler Williams profoundly communicates the matter of protecting the planet through his new collection, which expounds on pollution. Ultimately, no matter the subjects, all of the stories in this issue contain an element of optimism. It brings the realization that art is optimism. So thankfully, it’s hard to imagine a world without it.