Updated: Aug 10, 2020
The Covid-19 epidemic has forever changed our world in ways we can see and feel very closely and in ways we can’t even imagine yet. Even through the fear and anxiety, we have seen an increase in community outreach and banding together. There has been mask making, so much Zooming (yea, it’s a verb now), virtual art classes, traveling the world via video, museum tours, collaborations, donations, and so much more. We see even more now the power of community and an emphasis on our holistic well being. Most importantly, we have been reminded of the most human thing any of us can do: connect. Connect with our friends, family, connect with ourselves, and with our communities.
When stay-at-home orders started, we had big adjustments to make. Katie is a teacher and had to switch her entire curriculum to online. I was laid off from my job and began navigating the confusing waters of the unemployment system. As life began to change and we adjusted we took a long look at our community and for me especially (without a job) I felt disconnected.
Between working on other projects and trying to maintain sanity, I found myself scrolling through Instagram (more than usual) and was inspired by all the artists still making, now teaching, and using their art to support their communities. It’s inspiring.
Artists have always persisted in times of crisis, and as Heather L. Stuckey says “art helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words”. Artists help themselves and others understand, process, and connect to what is happening in our world.
When we created our 2020 Digital Gallery we wanted to create a bridge for our community members to the work artists were creating. But, we also wanted to connect ourselves to
the art community. It was a leap of faith and hope that we would find and be able to give support. We found that strength through artists, community leaders, and members. Again, we were reminded that if you reach out, someone else will be there to take your hand.
Our goal is to connect with artists and help share their voices. We, also, want to be a part of that community, we want to add our own voices to the conversation as well. So as we move forward, through Covid-19 and through the other issues we are all facing now, we must remember that we are connected.
We are a community and we are not alone.