Art Is About Being Whole: A Memoir

Coming October 31, 2023

I’m excited to announce the release of my upcoming book, Art Is About Being Whole: A Memoir. Join me on a captivating exploration of self-discovery, as I unravel the intricate threads of anxiety and shame that once ensnared me. Through each chapter, I delicately weave the vibrant tapestry of my personal narrative alongside diverse works of art that contain universal, personal themes. Reading this book is a uniquely special experience, and I can’t wait to share it with you this Fall.

Art, like love, just is. 
Giving, Receiving, Asking  
for nothing. Just whole.

In that pristine moment of being with the art in front of me, an expansive swell fills my chest. Tears spring to my eyes. The art transfixes me, and I cannot look away. Sometimes my legs feel weak, wobbly. My heart and breathing speed up to keep up with my emotion. It’s not an out-of-body experience but a full-body one. 

Looking at art is my sacred journey. It is my spiritual practice. It is my meditation cushion, and my temple, and my altar, and my pew. It is my challenger. It is my refuge. Art is one of my tools for self-development, just as much as all of the books I’ve read. I don’t look at art to learn about the art. I look at art to learn about myself. I look at art to learn about the world and my place in it. I look at art in order to fully understand and embody who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to be. My body slows, my mind slows, and I can just be with—with art and with myself. The art has changed me. 

A Memoir Built with Art

Art Is About Being Whole: A Memoir explores Cindy Ingram’s journey of finding who she is underneath all the layers of protection. Each essay incorporates a work of art that encapsulates growth experienced at pivotal moments in the author’s life. Each piece of art is a touch point to come back to again and again as she acknowledges where she has been and where she is headed. From a Great White Shark swimming stealthily beneath burnout to a futuristic painting of a mask connecting the author with the humanity of her long-lost biological father to a succession of painted eyes clarifying her spirituality, each artwork helps Ingram put words and images to thoughts, feelings, and transformations that often feel too hard to explain. 

How do you explain a feeling? That’s what artists do.


Advanced Praise for Art Is About Being Whole

Art Is About Being Whole is a heartfelt and nourishing book about the way that art can surround and support your life. If you feel like you’re outside the art world, if the art world isn’t helping you, this book can be a life ring, the kind the lifeguard tosses into the pool. All you have to do is put it around you, and you’ll be towed safely in to shore.”

James Elkins

Author of Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings

Art Is About Being Whole is a song of praise, celebration, and invitation—into the power of art to illuminate and expand our lived lives. Cindy Ingram’s memoir shares her story as a testament to the ways a full embrace of art can heal our injured places, illuminate our uncertainties, and open doors of experience that we never imagined. This is a beautiful book, filled with ideas to be inspired by and to borrow. You will feel you have new best friends in Cindy and a thousand artists when you finish.”
Eric Booth

Author of Making Change and Tending the Perennials

About the Author

Cindy Ingram is a writer, artist, poet, educator, and entrepreneur. Connecting with works of art and crafting innovative learning activities, she has dedicated her life to bringing the magic of art connection to others. A former art museum educator, art teacher, and the founder and CEO of Art Class Curator (, Cindy is passionate about taking art out of dark, stuffy lecture halls and bringing it into the hearts, minds, and lives of everyone.

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