On Aug. 7, Terrain launched “Art in the Time of Quarantine,” a gallery show and art auction that featured work from 26 artists, all of whom created new work around a common theme: the world they envision and/or hope to see postcoronavirus pandemic.
“In the midst of so much uncertainty, amidst, honestly, a lot of chaos be it the pandemic, social uprising we’re experiencing, the election, all of the stuff that’s happening, to just provide some hope and an ability for someone to grab hold of something,” said Ginger Ewing, Terrain’s executive director and co-founder. “Also just to project their own energy into the world. The question we asked was what do you envision, what do you hope for? It was out of a place of hope and trying to find light and something to look forward to in all of this.”
Ewing and Terrain operations manager Jackie Caro reached out to their gallery committee and asked them to put together a list of artists who might be interested in participating. Ewing and Caro looked at artists they’ve worked with in the past and created a list of their own.
After sending out invitations to participate in the gallery, 26 artists created work: Thom Caraway, Melissa Lang, Lisa Nappa, Janelle Cordeo, J. Casey Doyle, June Sanders, Melanie Lieb Taylor, Lindsey Merrell, Chris Tyllia, Kevin Haas, Vanessa Swenson, Carl Richardson, Kay O’Rourke, Gordon Wilson, Eric Sanchez, Nance van Winckel, Jon Booze, Mary Farrell, Mardis Nenno, Margot Casstevens, Megan Martens-Haworth, Jenny Hyde, Travis Masingale, Roger Ralston, Emily Hawkins and Kimber Browning Follevaag.
Some artists told Ewing and Caro they had more creative energy than ever during quarantine while others said they felt paralyzed and weren’t sure how to get unstuck.
“We got several emails from people when we sent the invite out that were really excited to have a deadline of some kind,” Caro said. “It was nice for them because a lot of things they were working on prior were canceled or pushed off, so I think they felt this was a nice way to feel normal-ish again and have something to look forward to.”
On Sept. 1, “Art in the Time of Quarantine” will close, but not before each piece is auctioned online, silent auction-style, which allows people to place bids throughout the month. Silent auction proceeds will be split between Terrain and the artists.
Artwork can be viewed in person at the Terrain Gallery, 304 W. Pacific Ave., Wednesdays through Fridays from 4-7 p.m. (COVID-19-related safety measures are in place) or online at bit.ly/TerrainGalleryAuction. Those interested in bidding can use the same link.
“It’s obviously supporting Terrain, it’s obviously supporting Terrain gallery and the artists, but also we’re a community-building organization, and we wanted people to still feel like they were part of something special even though it’s going to be through their computer screen,” Ewing said.
Participants are encouraged to dress up, and Terrain has worked with Hogwash Whiskey Den and Inland Pacific Kitchen to create a special menu from which people can order dinner before the event. They also will have a video for a cocktail they can make at home.
“We really are going to encourage them to make it a fun thing to do,” Caro said. “We all know we’d rather be together doing this, so if we can create that energy across the city in your own home and give them something to look forward to and dress up for.”
“Art in the Time of Quarantine” is a free event, but Terrain hopes to raise $30,000, plus 12.5% of its projected $236,000 total annual loss due to the pandemic.
“The word I keep using is ‘devastating,’ ” Ewing said. “We’re facing incredible loss, but we also put half a million dollars into local artists’ pockets last year, so if we go away, that revenue goes away. It’s not only hurting us, it’s hurting local artists.
“In times like a pandemic, and in times like the historic social uprising, and in times where the economy feels like it’s about ready to break, this is where we see the power of art and creativity at its best. It’s music, it’s ‘Hamilton,’ it’s visual art, it’s poetry. Some of the most interesting things that are coming from this are when people want to feel normal or they want to feel connected with one another, it’s art that they are turning to in order to experience that.
“The irony is our artists and arts organizations are in serious trouble, yet in a time like this, it becomes undeniably clear how important these things are in the social fabric of who we are as human beings. There is a lot of pain and heartache and a lot of uncertainty and everybody’s struggling right now, but if you’re able to, support if you can.”
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