The new exhibit at Confluence Gallery in Twisp employs art to help us celebrate our COVID-free past and anticipate a COVID-contained future.
Opening on Saturday (Jan. 16), the “Wish You Were Here” exhibit asks us if we can let our minds wander to times past or future as we navigate our current world of isolation. The answer, displayed in paintings, photographs, multimedia works and sculptures throughout the gallery, is a resounding “yes!”
The inspiration for the exhibit, say show curators Mandy Shoger and Joanne Marracci, was the uncertainty and sense of loss fostered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the idea that art can provide solace.
“When the show committee met virtually last July to plan this year’s shows, we were only a few months into the pandemic, but we were all feeling the social and emotional effects of the quarantine and local business closures,” said Shoger. “At that point, we did not know how long this would continue, but we were already dreaming of people we missed, places we had planned to visit but couldn’t, and experiencing emotional reactions to the personal and global effects of COVID. I think those of us on the show committee were so thankful that we had art to help carry us through these strange and challenging times.”
Shoger remembers walking into Confluence Gallery after the initial COVID lockdown and seeing art in person for the first time since early March. “[I felt] such joy being in the room with all of the artwork and the show committee members,” she said.
Art can be therapeutic and cathartic for both the artist and the audience, Shoger said. “We hope this show will give artists a chance to express themselves and communicate, even during isolating circumstances, as well as give the public a chance to connect and find hope through these paintings, photographs and sculptures,” she said.
Shoger said that some of the pieces address pain, but “they also share hope and love for the world going forward, and demonstrate that we are a resilient community, ready to engage and connect despite the necessary distance we continue to endure.”
The show, notes a Confluence Gallery press release, “is a love letter to the life we once lived and the life we hope to live after the virus has been contained.”
“Wish You Were Here” continues through March 6. For more information, email email@example.com or call 997-2787.