Self Portraits: Artists Respond to COVID-19

I invite you to visit this insightful virtual gallery show from the Wasmer Gallery at Ursuline College. Although the physical gallery is now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery continues to promote and share artistic expression. This call for self portraits captures the issues and feelings many of us are going through in these unprecedented times. A time of self-isolation, reflection and unique challenges. It’s also a nice reminder that we can still enjoy exhibits, create art and life still goes on!

Artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Frida Kahlo have been doing self portraits since the earliest of times. Self portraits are not only a figurative study, they capture a moment in time or something that the artist is experiencing thru style, color, or scenery. Masks are definitely a big symbol of our current situation.

Who do you recognize in this list of 118 artists? I picked out a couple of our CDPUG members – Karen Jewell-Kett and Gerry Shamray, familiar local artist George Kocar as well as local teachers and students.

Gerry filled me in a bit about the story of his piece. He said “I started my piece in January. It was originally just going to be a cute sketch of me and the dogs looking out a window, all smiles and stuff. Then I got sick in February with the flu so I was stuck in the house for a month. I worked on the drawing during that period and changed the tone to something downbeat. Instead of looking out a window, I changed it to looking out the front door.  I kept going back and forth with me in the house to me being a reflection in the window coming home. I finally decided to draw it so it was open to interpretation as to whether or not I’m inside or outside, if I’m happy or sad. As I was wrapping up the drawing the pandemic hit so I felt my image hit the mark. I was very happy with the final drawing.”

Be sure to check out the exhibit! Let us know if you know anyone else.

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