When Social Distancing Becomes Art

Leyao Dong '23

In this period of social distancing and sheltering in place, visual artists around the world are creating work that responds to our new reality. Hotchkiss visual arts students have joined in the movement, and their work offers an intimate portrait of their lives during their time away from Lakeville. View student work here.

 J. Bradley Faus P’10, instructor in art and director of the art program, noted that the work of many of his portfolio students relates directly to sheltering in place, while other pieces speak to broader issues and concerns driven by the pandemic.

 Asher DuFord ’20 sketches interpret social distancing in Morningside Park in Harlem, capturing afternoon shadows across an urban alleyway and the stark form of a fire escape.

“Intimate portraits” by Katharine Moore ’20 capture family members in repose and contemplation. Upper mid Anne Sappenfield’s collage with an angel-like figure offers hope and inspiration. The work of Nicole Morikawa ’21 shares expressive experience through images addressing complex aspects of emotional, physical, and social loss. Junsik Ryan Eom ’21 offers quiet and introspective paintings about home and hope for a better time and place. Finally, we are struck by a self-portrait by Grace Li ’20 confronting cultural bias and prejudice in response to the pandemic. “These works demonstrate the power art can offer us during these challenging times,” said Faus. 

Maddy Lykouretzos '23

Greg Lock,  instructor in photography and director of the photography, film and related media program, has been encouraging students to explore their own perceptions of the new reality. 

“We asked students to document their immediate surroundings and the new living conditions they are encountering while they shelter in place. Some work is a personal reflection on family relationships, while some documents an intimate relationship between the authors and their physical surroundings. We ask students to recognize and then explore the oddity of their current situation,” Lock said.


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