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Art...Finds A Way

Kelly and June Jones with audio recording equipment in front of their home
One of Kelly and June's C'ville Porch Portraits (Photo: Eze Amos)

Social distancing is a challenging obstacle for many artists, both visual and performing. So much of what makes art special is that it brings people together to share in an experience. Thankfully, many artists are up to the challenge, and have found creative ways to adapt their artwork to continue telling stories and making connections.

The Show Must Go Online!

Before the Coronavirus, June regularly attended a musical theater school called DMR Adventures. The school’s director, Melissa Charles, acted quickly to get her students involved in planning and creating a virtual performance called “The Show Must Go Online!” about kids who are unable to attend their physical theaters but want to continue performing together. June's been rehearsing at home for her role in between performances of other classic musicals like Newsies and Les Miserables.

June Jones performing in her living room as Little Gavroche from Les Miserables
June's living room Le Mis performance (Photo: Kelly Jones)

C'ville Porch Portraits

Eze Amos is a photographer who typically takes photos at large gatherings like weddings, or protests. When those events were no longer set to take place, he set out to find another way to put his skills behind the camera to good use. He found inspiration online in The Front Steps Project, and adapted the project for his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Since putting out an initial call for participants on social media, his C’Ville Porch Portraits has taken off, with four photographers now involved and more than 850 photos taken of people in their front yards. Eze says the project has helped people stay connected with each other and show their community they’re making it through.

The photos are offered on a sliding scale from $0 - $250, with half of the proceeds being donated to the Charlottesville Emergency Relief Fund For Artists. You can check out the photos on Instagram and set up your own “porchrait” in Charlottesville by emailing Eze at [email protected]

The Ballard Opera Man

Nearly every weekday, Seattle-based opera singer Stephen Wall heads out to his front lawn, sets up a speaker and begins to sing as neighbors and passers-by congregate (six feet apart) to listen to his 5 p.m. mini concerts. 

Stephen finishes each concert with a performance of Nessun Dorma, a song he saw being performed in Italy during the early weeks of the pandemic that inspired him to take to his lawn and sing:

Portraits of Recovery

Alfonzo Perez is a Colombian visual artist in Richmond, Virginia. While he was initially using art as an escape from everything going on in the world around him, he soon recognized his artwork could be used to bring people together. He began creating digital portraits of a community of people who hadn’t otherwise received much recognition or attention: those who had recovered from having the coronavirus.

Alfonzo has shared his illustrations on Instagram, and has been receiving submissions from people around the country. He’s planning on completing a few more drawings to wind down the project, focused on expressing hope for recovery in every sense of the word.