Saturday, May 9, 2020

Art in the Age of Quarantine - Spring of COVID 19

Hello friends, as I write my Spring newsletter, I cannot help but think to myself is this essential? It just seems like there are much more pressing events happening in the world today. That talking about art; well, may not be that important in this Spring of Covid 19. This crisis is unprecedented, I cannot think of anything that compares to it in my lifetime.

How dramatic the changes to daily life are for most people, just think of the battery of new (detaching) phrases that have been added to our vocabulary, social-distancing, quarantine, flatten the curve, essential and non-essential workers. The media is flooded with advice, news and commentary. My wife and son both are working, one as an essential worker and the other remotely, it has certainly tested their limits and their strengths. How can I not help but feel some uncertainty, anxiety and concern? I try to not let it dominate my mind. No wonder finding personal balance during the shutdown is a challenge for each of us.

Honestly, as far as work, I have not been directly impacted much by the pandemic. But I completely recognize how unfair this coronavirus has been to so many. Those daily death tolls are stark reminder that there is a real difference between tragedy and inconvenience.

For me, Art has always been that place to escape to. I have been self-employed most of my life as an artist and spent thousands of solitary hours in the studio. Even back when I was doing advertising art, we had a saying, “no news was good news” meaning when a project was delivered if you did not get a call on it from the client you just assumed that they were happy and you moved on to your next project.  I would go days buried in my work without speaking much. As it turns out I’ve all been self-quarantining for years!

And these days as a fine artist working on the art I want to create, I probably am even more isolated, but that is quite ok with me. We all need interaction with others, but the truth is that art is not a group activity.  Nor a spectator sport or is it created by committee as some current trends want to imply.  Meaningful art is created through the internal reactions of an artist to the world.

The catch is that what gives art meaning…is its capacity to connect with other people.  

I see painting as a very contemplative experience, but it is also the investigation of the world around me. The thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this time of isolation.

So that big word “Art” cannot exist in a vacuum.  Art illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and yes even the tragedy of it. We would not be who WE are (or connected so deeply) without the essential existence of art.

It's nice to be able to share some positive news with you. My painting Japanese Teapot was accepted into the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) 2020 Best of America Small Painting National Juried Exhibition.

-Best of America Small Works exhibition hosted by the McBride Gallery, 215 Main Street in Annapolis, MD 21401. For those that like to know the numbers, 150 paintings were selected from 1096 entries.”

The show has been extended until June 7, 2020

At last count, 15 paintings have sold from the 2020 Best of America Small Works Exhibition. With so many galleries, exhibitions and events being forced to close or cancel due to COVID-19. I want to thank Cynthia at the McBride Gallery who has been working diligently at promoting the exhibition online and extending the physical exhibition, so thankful for her efforts. 

To view the paintings in this exhibition please visit the gallery's website,
or for more information on NOAPS, and a video tour of the show check out.
Show extended through June 7, 2020 at the McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD

As always, I have several new paintings going in the studio. For frequent updates and works in progress please check out my Instagram or Website. 

Stay safe, stay well, remain vigilant and be kind to each other. 
Jim Serrett

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim 

 Website - 
 Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on having your painting chosen for this juried exhibition and for being the poster image!