New local arts project designed to share quarantine experiences

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? A pair of local artists are putting together a new arts exhibition to share experiences about the quarantine and pandemic - and The Reminder is involved.

Karen Clark and Noelle Drimmie have created Quarantine Gallery North, a new project in conjunction with the NorVA Centre to showcase art made during and about COVID-19. The two received a $1,000 grant from the Manitoba Arts Council for the project through a special stream for COVID-19-specific projects to fund the exhibition. Pieces from the exhibition will be featured in The Reminder, along with being printed out as posters and put up along Main Street and at the NorVA Centre and at Johnny's Social Club.

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The idea for the project came in part from the NorVA Quarantine Gallery, a separate online project where local artists showcase work they’ve made during self-isolation.

"We put together a proposal, the two of us. It was sort of inspired by the NorVA quarantine gallery, but we wanted to create something separate," Drimmie said.

"We [Clark and Drimmie] virtually chatted - we never got to meet in person to talk about it but we did over texts and phone calls and we came up with a way to showcase COVID-19-related art."

The kind of pieces Clark and Drimmie are looking for are not just pieces made during quarantine - they’re looking for pieces that deal with COVID-19 as a central theme, either explicitly dealing with or inspired by the pandemic and the societal response.

"We're hoping for these submissions, that it's not necessarily stuff you've been working on during quarantine. This one is a bit more themed, where we want actual quarantine or COVID-19-inspired art that reflects the themes or emotions or activities that people are doing in this very weird time," said Drimmie, who added she had seen pieces made by Flin Flon-area artists made with the pandemic as a central theme.

"Some stuff is pretty dark, but other stuff is quite hopeful. We just kind of want to see that side of it in the north, what people are feeling and experiencing."

The project is open to artists of all ages, skill levels and media. Drimmie said she hopes to see involvement from local students.

"I know there's very COVID-19-specific artwork out there," she said.

"We're living through a historic time period right now and it seems to be moving very fast. The months have just seemed to blur together - it's like one big long scary long weekend where you can't see anyone."

To submit art to the project, email images of each piece to noelledrimmie@gmail.com.

High resolution photo files are requested to allow for quality poster printing.

The deadline for submissions is May 29.

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