Student art goes virtual

The pandemic has produced one positive for those interested in local student art.

While COVID-19 screening points are gone and masks are no longer required, Walters State Community College is considering keeping one change – the virtual art exhibit.

COVID-19 numbers were still high earlier in the year when the Division of Humanities made the decision not to hold the usual reception and student exhibit. The division decided to forego holding the event inside the college’s Catron Gallery, located in the R. Jack Fishman Library, in favor of going virtual.

“Due to the uncertainty that has come about from the pandemic, we shifted the show to an online format,” said Amy Evans, associate professor and head of the art program. “These students were working hard through challenges, and we felt as though they deserved some sort of acknowledgement. The online format has given us the opportunity to reach a larger audience. I can see the potential for having an opening reception and an online presence for future student shows.”

While the online gallery may increase accessibility, Evans doesn’t think anything virtual will ever replace the true gallery experience.

“It is always exciting to gather in person. The gallery reception is an opportunity for students to socialize with each other, bring friends and family to campus and most importantly talk about their work in a professional setting.

“There are many little details that are hard to capture through a photograph. We will always benefit by seeing art in person.”

Many Americans survived the on-site artistic wasteland created by the pandemic, turning to everything from macrame to paint-by-number kits to reignite their creative juices.

“After the plague in the Middle Ages, we had a Renaissance,” said Evans. “I can only hope to see the same flourishing of creativity and innovation follow this pandemic. We will have to wait and see. I know that creative activities help keep people engaged in a fun activity which can be positive for your mental health.”

To view the exhibit, log onto:  www.ws.edu/catron-gallery.

The virtual art exhibit includes paintings, drawings, three-dimensional works and computer art.