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  • Shirley Fox

Navigating The (Post?) Pandemic


Some Nature Things, 16"x20"


There’s no question that this has been one of the most unusual times in history. From all indications we are not done with the pandemic or the threat of violence that looms large throughout our country. The events of the past year and a half have also impacted the art world in a profound way. As I see it, political and environmental art are very much in the forefront.


This was a somewhat predictable outcome. Artists have always expressed political and cultural views. Now, creativity is not only wanted but needed. I have said many times that I believe artists have some amount of responsibility to record the atmosphere of the world during their time of creating art. Prior to the invention of the camera, the only images of the past we have are from art.


As much as I applaud those artists that make a statement with their work, where does that leave the abstract artists? I used to create art that addressed the environment. I enjoyed making those pieces. It felt like I was somehow helping the cause to save the planet. Now, I make abstracts. Why? Because it’s what feels right. My feeling is that the viewer needs distraction from all the stuff out there. A little time to just look. To just feel.


All art is important. Try imagining a world without art. The world needs art to stay hopeful. Society looks to art for entertainment and insight and emotion. Art tells us that the alchemists of the world still have so much good and meaningful expression to offer. Artists are alchemists. They gather things of little value and create something wonderful.


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