When college campuses shut down across the country back in March, it seemingly put the world on hold. For those in the arts, not having access to materials and lab equipment that are provided on campus made finishing up projects difficult.
Despite not being on campus, KSC Professor of Art and Design Lynn Richardson came up with creative ways for her students to still produce art without access to the on-campus materials and lab space.
“Since I was teaching a mold-making class, and obviously, students did not have the required materials nor could they easily get them, I designed a project where students were to look in their cupboards for anything they could potentially use to sculpt food. They were to create a meal that included appetizer, main course and a dessert,” said Richardson.
Out of this, the Quarantine Spring art exhibit was born. The exhibit features work that students made when the college went remote in the spring. This inspired the name of the exhibit, according to Richardson.
“These works could easily be placed in a time capsule because they definitely speak to a very specific event or time in our history,” said Richardson.
When the college shut down due to the pandemic, students in the Keene State art department were preparing for exhibits and showings. All of that was put on hold by COVID-19.
“Before spring break, my fellow artists and I were all getting ready to start getting things in motion for our senior exhibition in the Thorne Art Gallery,” said KSC Studio Art BFA alumna Natalie Barry, “But then spring break came, and we were told we would not be allowed back to campus because of COVID-19 pandemic. Being an artist who needs lab equipment, like printers or dark rooms or even ceramic tools… it was extremely hard to do anything after spring break for anything art-related.”
The Quarantine Spring exhibit provides a way for those pieces to be shown, even though it is not in the way everyone imagined. Although the physical art is not on display due to it being submitted digitally, viewers can see videos and photos of the pieces.
“Since the work was submitted digitally, I was able to print off large images or put works together on videos and projections. It’s interesting because normally, in all these classes, we would be looking at actual objects, but the exhibition is really composed of the student documentation of the works they made,” said Richardson.
Quarantine Spring stands as a showcase of the work students made during the pandemic. Despite difficult times, there is art to show for it.
“Everyone’s lives have been uprooted and it takes a lot to be able to remain flexible to the current situation. I hope this show is a celebration of the arts and displays our students’ dedication and hard work while living through the days of COVID,” said Richardson.
“Normally I would want everyone to get the feeling of being there and seeing things up close and in person,” said Barry, “I would want attendees to really understand the difficultness it has been to have everything virtually.”
The Quarantine Spring art exhibit runs September 25 through October 17 at the Carroll House Art Gallery.
Caitlin Howard can be contacted at: