Mark Rothko is one of my favorite contemporary artists. I can stand in front of his paintings for hours at a time, the varying bodies of color both soothing and inspiring the mind. So it’s not surprising that the Rothko Chapel has always been on my list of museums to visit. A spiritual temple commissioned by philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, the chapel houses 14 Rothko paintings on the walls surrounding the octagonal space. The paintings, seven massive purple tonal canvases and seven black rectangles framed in maroon edges, are the perfect conduits for meditative introspection. Sometimes Rothko’s paintings seem still and other times full of motion; the dichotomous effect of both peaceful tranquility on the surface and underlying movement and contrast gives his works an amazing sense of energy. I get lost in the shades of purple and cherish the genius behind not only his beautiful art but also the Menils’ vision to create this sanctuary.