By Jensen, Randy on April 20, 2020.
For The Herald
Local art patrons can still enjoy content during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery’s new online exhibition. Within days of closing their doors, the uLethbridge Art Gallery began sharing content online through social media, offering daily posts and online events to engage and inspire the public from their own homes.
“This was a quick reaction to all the things,” said gallery director Josephine Mills in a news release. “We have a long-term research partnership with Lisa Hirmer. Her last project with us, >’Plant Tenders and Other Future Currencies’ >was about helping people find productive ways to prepare for future disasters.”
While no one could have predicted where we are today, Hirmer was already asking questions about preparing for an unprecedented situation. Her latest work >is an improvised, ongoing response to the strange and sudden new reality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to offer something that is quiet and contemplative,” explains Hirmer alongside her first post. “Simple meditations will be posted every few days, as a way of sharing my attempts at making sense of this urgent and troubling time. Drawing on my past work about emergencies and the uncertain future, this slowly unfolding project is an experiment in creating amidst great uncertainty and change.”
Daily posts in the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram >stories share inspiration, ideas and creative challenges to keep artists of all ages and abilities creating at home. The first online event, “Knitting at Noon from Your Room,” takes place today. Pre-registration information is available on Facebook. > > > >
Hirmer’s digital art responses are posted to the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram accounts every four to five days, which will continue throughout April and into early May. The posts stay on the main feed so that it will build like a graphic novel.
“The goal with Hirmer’s work is to harness the power of art to shift the way we see the world, the way we address challenges and the assumptions that have become set in place,” explains Mills. “In disasters people in fact do come together and provide mutual support, share kindness. Working with Hirmer, the gallery’s goal is to help make positive change.”
The gallery is working on a national tour in partnership with Mt. St. Vincent Art Gallery, located in Halifax, on an exhibition by Hirmer about our relationship with weather. The exhibition will come to Lethbridge in 2021.