Together apART: Mask Up


Early on in the pandemic, there were concerns about the availability of PPE (personal protective equipment) for health care workers. Beginning April 17, all New Yorkers were required to wear masks when in public, when social distancing is difficult.  Artists and makers rallied. Armed with sewing machines and bolts of fabric, they began to stitch. Making and wearing face coverings became a way to gain agency at a time when many felt helpless. Over the next year, the surgical, cloth, or KN95 mask we wore to keep ourselves, our loved-ones and our communities safe became a symbol of the pandemic era, and our collective and personal efforts to stop the spread.  

THE MASK PROJECT (21st Century) by Kathy Yacoe (Skura)ArtsWestchester

"My husband and I live in the Hudson Highlands and we have explored many old forgotten woods roads. We began to see discarded masks lining the roads and trails. They looked like invasive or alien beings. I began to photograph them."

New Normal (21st Century) by Susan ManspeizerArtsWestchester

"I sculpted face masks of bent wood and paint (my primary medium for decades). I installed them on the wall according to the Fibonacci method, which was my attempt to bring stability and order to an otherwise chaotic situation."

Pandemic Portait Project (21st Century) by Eleanor Grace MillerArtsWestchester

"I wanted the images to have that same feel and message of the informal, the expedient, the un-processed, somehow ‘unfinished’, as this expressed the transitory period we are all experiencing."

COVID Relief (21st Century) by Susan FasnachtArtsWestchester

"The main section contains an interpretation of how the virus looks. Along the side I quilted “COVID-19”; across the bottom I added face masks; and finally a heart to represent the hope that eventually we will get through it."

Coronavirus Kingdom (21st Century) by Sonika GuptaArtsWestchester

"Trying to pass the long hours of lockdown, I happened to be reading an old fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel,” and it occurred to me that we were in a similar situation, figuratively speaking. So I decided to put paint on a canvas and depict this story as a visual metaphor for pandemic life."

Five Self-Portraits: Covid Series (21st Century) by Bob ClyattArtsWestchester

"Looking back I can see a progression of my feelings in these works from a sort of confused or gritty enduring feeling in the early months to anger and despair in the middle months."

Daydreamer (21st Century) by Celia SpanaArtsWestchester

"I was sent home from Loyola University two months shy of graduation when COVID-19 was spreading across the country. With nothing but time on my hands, I kept feeling the urge to paint something big, beautiful, and challenging.”

Diptych 3 (21st Century) by Ann Brenner SilvermanArtsWestchester

"As I place each tiny piece of glass, carefully add ground glass and larger pieces of frit, I envision walking the streets and enjoying the landscape forming in my imagination."

Dawn of A New Day (21st Century) by Donna FarandaArtsWestchester

"I seek to create artwork that brings some meaning to my existence and elevates me above the negativity which I experience during these dismal days."

Angel of The Forest (21st Century) by Kathleen McCarthy UdoffArtsWestchester

"I reached for my art supplies to create, when all were sleeping. We were in a semi-lockdown. Artistic expression was now a refuge for me. I found solace each day in my work."

Evelyn with a Spanish Accent (21st Century) by Eileen StodutArtsWestchester

"The pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges this world has faced. One that has made me remember the loss of my sister to another virus MS. I was drawn to paint her in all her beauty and glory, her happiness, her everlasting hope in mankind."

Socially Distant (21st Century) by Dave SteckArtsWestchester

"In this kinetic sculpture and light installation, I explore ideas of life, loss and social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis."

Relief (21st Century) by Joy BirdArtsWestchester

"The lack of personal protective equipment became a true challenge for all frontline workers. The pattern of the vines depict her journey through the emotional rollercoaster of the pandemic."

Protection/Pollution (21st Century) by Mindy KombertArtsWestchester

"I began documenting the scattered PPE mid-December when nearly 300,000 people had died of covid in this country. Each of the photographs in this composite represent 1,000 lives lost in the US or close to 5,000 globally; it remains a work in progress."

Twenty-Twenty (21st Century) by Connie FreidArtsWestchester

"The little boy represents all the children who have lost the opportunity to go to school, see their friends, or partake in ordinary activities."

Peilin Hudson River 11-9-20 (21st Century) by Gina RandazzoArtsWestchester

"Peilin and I met at the riverfront near sunset for a social visit, the first time we had been together since February. In normal times we see each other weekly at our Tai Chi Chuan class."

Social Inexistence (21st Century) by Owen SteckArtsWestchester

"It was at this moment, as the fog mocked the distance we have kept from one another and filled my lungs in a way that no mask could protect, that I felt truly, inescapably isolated."

Falling Man (21st Century) by Tony MooreArtsWestchester

"While the Covid-19 Pandemic has been both tragic and debilitating, for me, it also allowed for many solitary hours of creative time. In 2020 I made many sculptures which I may otherwise not have done."

Emoji Vase (21st Century) by Adam ChauArtsWestchester

"Digital culture has evolved into the prolific use of the emoji and has created a culture of its own - by pairing emojis with blue-and-white porcelain aesthetics I am able to create a dialog about creating works that speak of time and place."

Whisperer (21st Century) by Enne TesseArtsWestchester

"“Whisperer” is a hand sewn cotton fabric mask worn to cover and protect the nose and mouth against cross contamination of airborne droplets and particles."

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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