The Barry Art Museum presents a selection of artworks representative of the universally shared experiences and emotions of the COVID-19 era. "Pandemic: Reflecting on a Year in Quarantine" uplifts and inspires through dance, sculpture, painting, glass, mixed media and video.
The exhibition is on view through June 1 with free admission. The Barry Art Museum is open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday noon-5 p.m.
"Pandemic" brings together works focusing on such diverse themes as microbiology, environmentalism, human connection and macro/microcosmos, many from the Museum's permanent collection.
Works on view by artists Peter Eudenbach, Luke Jerram, Anne Neely, and Julia and Robin Rogers explore the role of artists and their ability to translate the human condition into metaphor and transcendence.
In "Victoria's Hideaway," the subject of the sculpture by the glass-blowing team of Julia and Robin Rogers is depicted with an attic on her head, a candle flickering on the inside. This lonely soul is trapped in her own mind and memories. Though this piece, part of the artists' "The Architecture of the Mind" series, was made long before COVID-19 swept the world, it reflects the inner turmoil evinced from extended isolation.
The contemporary artworks are complemented by performance art pieces by Janessa Clark. "Communion" is an experimental screendance response that invited 40 dancers, separated by physical distance and the pandemic, into a digital space to commune together. Each unique duet is created from videos by two dancers who are separated by cities, countries and sometimes continents. Clark combines these videos to create virtual duets which are set to music donated by a composer also collaborating remotely.
Many of these artists have ties to Old Dominion University, presenting pieces at the Barry Art Museum as both a marker and a salve for a year in quarantine.