SPRING TWP., Pa. - Creating within the chaos. Painting in a pandemic. COVID-19 has affected the way we live and work. It's also true for artists.
"This is what someone did during a crisis. It was a positive outcome and we all feel kind of what shall we say restricted right now and it's frustrating at times but we'll get through it. I think looking at this artwork can help you and see how others go through it and maybe inspire someone to try some things they hadn't tried before," said Yocum Institute for Arts Education Executive Director Susan Rohn.
It's why the first word in the title of the exhibit is Hope.
This is Hope Inside Change II, two because the first Hope Inside Change was here at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education in September. Part two runs in person and online through January 8 featuring the work of eight local artists.
"It really did focus on not only accomplished artists but people that during COVID-19 closures were at home and they were like what do we do? And the arts really came to a lot of people's rescue," Rohn said.
In her artist statement, on the wall next to her work, you'll learn Jill Henry was halfway through a metalsmithing course when the virus hit. She had trouble concentrating and found solace studying gemstones in fellow student's jewelry work. She realized resin might replicate the natural wonders and created these out of resin, paper and glass. It's art created directly out of and solely because it is the worst of times.
"All of us are looking for what's on the other side," said Exhibits Director Phyllis Moser.
Moser is an artist and teacher. For her, the pandemic meant finishing pieces that long sat unfinished because they were demos for her students. It also gave her the freedom she says to go back to painting whatever she wanted.
"I think we're going to see a lot of change in art in the next few years that was actually begun during this period because we had a different environment in which we create," Moser said.
We'll see the difference, like in the piece titled "Playing to their Fears." Seeing it up close and far away, it demands your attention. So many things demand our attention at the moment but despite them all or perhaps maybe because of them, this exhibit helps show us you can create something out of the disruption.