Virtual Exhibition Highlights Works Inspired by COVID-19

Virtual Exhibition Highlights Works Inspired by COVID-19

AMHERST, N.Y. -- A new virtual exhibition presented by Daemen College features artistic and literary works that represent student reactions to social distancing and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Apart, Together: Isolation During COVID-19 in Art and Literature,” which will be on display online through Sept. 30, highlights a range of works that express student responses to isolation during the coronavirus crisis.

The exhibition evolved from a collaboration between the Daemen Visual and Performing Arts and English departments. At the time it was being planned, a special issue on COVID-19 was released by Iconoclast, the college’s literary magazine. The exhibition presented an ideal way for students to further express themselves about the public health crisis, as well as racial injustice issues brought to the forefront by the recent death of George Floyd and others.

“Our intention with this exhibition was to give students the opportunity to share their artistic and literary responses to this historic experience and to bring the campus community together to celebrate this positive outpouring of creativity,” said Dr. Nancy Marck, faculty advisor for Iconoclast and professor of English. “Expressed in a variety of media, these powerful images document what students felt and thought about being distanced from others and also help to bridge the isolation we have all experienced due to the pandemic.”

Embracing the chance to participate in the exhibition, one student commented, “I felt relief being able to express my thoughts in a meaningful way during this time.”

Winners of the juried exhibition are:

  • Best Interdisciplinary – “COVID Became Evidential” by Telena Smith of Brooklyn, psychology major.
  • Best Literature – “I Can’t Breathe” by Berttila Kithia Kyovi of Nairobi City, Kenya, English with a professional writing and rhetoric specialization.  
  • Best Visual Moving Image – “Apart, Together Animation” by Eternity Shorter of Buffalo, animation major.
  • Best Visual Still Image – “In the Darkness” by M. Laike Palermo of Williamsville, art major with a painting specialization.

Dr. Robert Waterhouse, chair of visual and performing arts, said, “Our students will forever be united by the effects of this public health crisis and this exhibition gave them a chance to share and document their response to this unique time in history. The artwork captures the variety and depth of personal expressions of isolation, feeling fractured and out of one’s depth, and feeling one’s way through the dark, while also showing expressions of unity, hope, optimism, and determination.”