Unmasked: Artful Responses to the Pandemic
Exhibition on view: January 16 – March 28, 2021

SVAC is excited to present a powerful exhibition in which artists reveal their struggles, creative breakthroughs, perspectives, and personal relationships through new works of art. This thematic exhibition titled “Unmasked: Artful Responses to the Pandemic” unfolds over the course of ten galleries in SVAC’s Yester House.

“Unmasked: Artful Responses to the Pandemic” will explore the myriad ways that pandemic-related challenges have impacted artists, catalyzing meaningful shifts in their artistic output. For nearly a year, our lives have been impacted in unprecedented ways by the coronavirus. Like many other sectors, the art field has faced enormous challenges. But there have been silver linings, too—remarkable instances of creativity, collaboration, compassion, and change. 

Barbara Ishikura, “Kaira Quarantined,” 2020

SVAC is creating space for visual artists to present artwork influenced by and made during the pandemic. For these individuals, creating art during this period has become a form of protection against the negative effects of the coronavirus. 

“This exhibition combines an exciting mix of artists, showcasing not only some of the tremendous talent that resides in the state of Vermont but also bringing national and even international perspectives into the conversation about Covid’s impact on artists,” said Alison Crites, SVAC’s Manager of Exhibitions and Interpretive Engagement. “What we hope will be especially meaningful for visitors is how these artful responses to the pandemic invite us all to consider the ways in which cultivating creativity in our own lives can help us cope with hardship.”

Tiny Pricks Project

The exhibition includes diverse media including 2D work from watercolor to ink to charcoal to acrylic; and photography, textile/fiber art, book making, 3D masks, video, a site-specific outdoor installation, and more. Of the over 40 participating artists, several are part of unique group initiatives that formed or gained traction during the pandemic, such as the Tiny Pricks Project. Contributors to this project, from around the world, stitched Donald Trump’s words into textiles, creating the material record of his presidency and of the movement against it.

Through their art, the artists of Unmasked offer compelling responses to many relatable challenges, such as how to overcome isolation, how to maintain productivity, how to find solace, and how to document these events for posterity. The exhibition also includes a Response Station, where visitors are invited to share their own stories of creativity during the pandemic.

GNAT-TV: The News Hour Interview with SVAC Executive Director, Anne Corso


Participating Artists
Sachiko Akiyama
Nancy Banks
Renee Bouchard
Adrien Broom
Scottie Burgess
Christie Carter
B Chehayeb
Irene Cole
Monique Crabb
Rosalind Daniels
Lisa Dimonstein
Nicole Duennebier
Trey Duvall
Helen Ellis
Betsy Fram
Eben Haines
Barry Hazard
Ona Herman
Arthur Huang
Patty Hudak
Barbara Ishikura
Katelyn Ledford
Sammy Lee
Tiffany Matheson
Maria Molteni
Kevin Moore
Noah Phillips
Elysyn Porter
Dale Raisig
Linda Rubinstein
Marcie Scudder
Freyja Sewell
Kent Shaw
Ross Sheehan
Dianne Shullenberger
Peggy Smith
Shap Smith
Tracy Tomko
Dana Walrath
Susan Weiss
Diana Weymar
Susan White

Main image: Irene Cole, Journey, 2020, oil

January 16 at 10:00 am — March 28 at 4:00 pm
10:00 am — 4:00 pm (1710h)

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