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The Role of Art in a Pandemic

 

Like you probably have, I've been feeling all the feelings since the shelter-in-place: fear, helplessness, hope, isolation, frustration... I felt like art was something way at the bottom of the priority list at a time like this and I certainly wasn't feeling inspired to create. And then one day, I hung a painting in my own home that I had completed last month and noticed how it brought me happiness every time I passed it. I realized there is something to be said for the things that brighten our days - even by just a little bit. Perhaps my art could do the same for essential care workers out there as a way to show thanks? And just like that, an Instagram Giveaway was born. Thank you to those who nominated someone you know who is on the front lines - the winners were very appreciative for some good news and one even said she "felt like one of those people that gets their name called on the Price is Right!" That made me feel good; like I was on the right path - maybe art does have a place during this time. Then, I saw a notice sponsored by Davis Gallery & ArtAustin.org about artists contributing a 6" x 6" light blue artwork to create a giant patchwork display of unified thanks and support to all the frontline workers and people staying at home. Suddenly, purpose and meaning brought fuel to my creativity. I may not be able to save lives, but I could use my talents to show support for those who are.


With my renewed will to create, I turned to art as a means of expressing myself for my own sanity. My most recent piece, "Holding It All Together" is a visual representation of our haphazard quest to navigate this unprecedented territory. We may not know where we are going or how to get there, but there is still beauty and connection to be found in the everyday chaos. 

As many of us are finding ways to adapt and reinvent under the current circumstances, I wish you health, fortitude, and perseverance. We are in this together! Best, Julie