This past April the Kathryn A. Martin Library launched its Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project which aims to document the COVID-19 experiences of the community. Thanks to an NEH Grant, images from this ongoing project are currently on display in an exhibit at the Tweed.
Artworks by local artists Ivy Vainio, Moira Villiard, Karen Savage Blue, Joe Klander, Brian Barber, and Sarah Brokke Erickson are currently on display in an exhibit at the Tweed Museum of Art titled Creating Apart: Local Artists Respond to a Global Pandemic. The exhibit is one part of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant that aims to document and share the experiences of community members during the Coronavirus pandemic.
An excerpt from the exhibit information states: “This exhibition showcases the responses of a handful of area artists to the new realities of creating art in the age of a global pandemic. For many, this time has been spent trying to balance home life, work, and the uncertainty of both while also trying to leverage their craft to create connections in the face of physical distancing. For some it means retreating from the art that they created pre COVID and channeling their creative energy into alternative paths while others are leaning into time spent in isolation as a way to accelerate their artistic output. At the same time that artists are dealing with the pandemic on an intensely personal level, they are also sharing their gifts to promote public health and social justice through public service campaigns, public art, and activism.”
Mike Scholtz, an interviewer working under the grant, interviewed the artists featured in the exhibit. Artists talked about the process of creating during the pandemic and the effect of the pandemic on their art. Scholtz, also a videographer, recorded the interviews and compiled them in a video set to be included in the exhibition.
Scholtz’s interviews with the artists will also be deposited in the Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and will become available in the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive UMedia collection. A teaser trailer for the video is featured on the Tweed’s Facebook page.
If you are interested in checking out the exhibit visit the Tweed Museum of Art’s website for more information.
Featured photo by mike scholtz