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POAC unveils Creations of Quarantine exhibit

by KATHY HUBBARD Contributing Writer
| January 27, 2021 1:00 AM

Trying times and turmoil bring about impactful artistic creation. Many important works of art have been born of suffering. Quarantine may not be over for everyone, but Pend Oreille Arts Council has called on our artist members to share their quarantine creations with the community. Many artists tried a new medium, started creating again or found work representative of current events. Their work is now on display at the POAC Gallery at 110 Main Street.

One of Anna Cool's three submissions, "No Room," shows a health care worker carrying a female figure away from a hospital.

"Many loved ones needed help. They were sent away to fight alone, to fear without guidance, and to grieve in isolation. My painting attempts to capture that despair and anguish; to never forget, and to perhaps, be a reminder towards the importance of being prepared," Cool said. 

Jan Rust submitted a collection of abstract work. “Creations of Quarantine” is her first showing as an artist. She said, "My collection for the quarantine show reflects my exploration of abstract expressionism using oil and cold wax, weaving, and mixed media.  Two of the paintings were created as a testimony to family activities during the pandemic. ‘Bonfire’ refers to the many bonfires my son built for family gatherings during the pandemic. ‘The Statement’ refers to the profound thoughts and perceptions shared by my youngest grandsons during our time at home." 

Three pieces by Lesley Gadsby are featured, two of which illustrate crowded city streets with unmasked figures. The third, "Edgar and the Boys," shows an unkindness of ravens.

Gadsby explained her works: "Two pieces are light in color and picture buildings with figures. They represent both before and after quarantine, a time when we could be with friends, dining, shopping, hugging. The third painting is chaotic and somber in tone, representing 2020."

Denys Knight, a copper artist, said about her single submission, "Remains of the Day," "A drawer in my copper/foldforming/flamepainting studio holds scraps, fragments, and bits leftover from the many pieces I have created over the past months. These remains are a confusing jumbled mess in the drawer. Relating to what happened over the past eleven months, I felt the desire to create something beautiful out of the chaos."

"The Nobody Inn, Six Feet Apart, 1901" by Barry Burgess is a small but powerful part of the show.

"In March of 2020, our world came to a standstill. We live six feet apart, wear masks or don't, and live life in anxiety. A new history is being made. Like the strife found in the editorials of the local papers, I envisioned a war of maskers and anti-maskers. The only true way to solve the issue was to create a restaurant, bar, B&B, or tavern where anyone could go, but nobody could be in. I designated it ‘The Nobody Inn,’” Burgess said. 

A "fabrisaic" (fabric assembled in a mosaic style) by Jenni Barry titled "A Capricorn's Dream of Seattle," is the largest piece in the show.

Barry’s artist’s statement said in part, "When everything shut down in March, depriving us of all travel, communities everywhere were essentially in their own bubble. Seattle was the first to experience this because they had the first cases of COVID-19. Seattle is one of the cities that I would love to visit and suddenly it seemed so out of reach, just like a dream. This piece is my way of sending well wishes to all who feel isolated and in a bubble."

Two black and white photographs, submitted by Mike Decesare, perfectly capture isolation. He said that"the lonely, uncertain reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the creation of my photographs, ‘Alone’ and ‘Isolation.’ The world around us may look the same, but COVID has temporarily made so much of it solitary, distant, and out of reach."



Those interested in seeing this exhibit will find it on display until March 1s in the POAC Gallery, 110 Main Street, Suite 101, inside the Music Conservatory. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you'd like a private viewing, call 208-263-6139 to schedule an appointment.