ALLENTOWN, Pa. - What do moments in time look like?

Inside Allentown's Arthaus Gallery you get a peek into the chaos and beauty a pandemic can bring.

There are abstract storyscapes, some on old blackboards, from Allentown artist Femi J Johnson. The exhibit, called Blackboard Veve, is meant to capture the spirit and collective souls throughout COVID-19.

"Each one when I'm done, I'm stealing a moment in time. Whatever I'm reflecting on ends up there," he said.

With pigment as his presence and a jazz soundtrack as a sidekick, Johnson turned forced isolation into solitude to find and develop inner joy.

"That joy had to come inside, we had to find those common places within ourselves. Be able to express that frustration. All those feelings came out in these paintings," he said.

The gallery's September opening may have come in a frustrating year, but manager John Clark says bright spots can still be seen even in these socially distant times.

"The beauty of a gallery is you can be alone. If we are not having an opening, we don't have so many people in here where you can't be comfortable," Clark said.

For those like Johnson the visual connects us just as much as the physical.

"No matter what's going on I'll be painting," Johnson added.

Johnson's work is being shown through March 21.

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