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Sharnita “Shugg” Smoot vividly remembers the initial trauma that would lead to her transformation into an artist.

It happened five years ago when she was a double major at Towson University, with a packed schedule that included cheerleading and an internship. Suddenly, in the middle of class, the sounds around her became hyperamplified and she felt a burning in her eyes. “I couldn’t look at the light at all.”

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