Published Date: June 30, 2022
Throughout the past two years, the Smile Politely arts section has spotlighted the ways in which C-U artists have been impacted by the pandemic. We have also explored the work produced during and in response to life in COVID times. But the new Healing Hearts Community Collage project offers something new. Sponsored by the Museum of the Grand Prairie, it invites visual and literary artists of all ages and experience to contribute a response to the concurrent pandemics of COVID-19, systemic racism and other injustices, economic crisis, climate change, gun violence, and political polarization.
The submissions will be brought together to form a multi-panel archival collage by mixed media artist Cindy Blair Sampson and will become part of the Museum's new exhibition A History of Healing: Infectious Diseases and Community Responses to Defeat Them, as well as a part of the permanent collection. Anxious to learn more about this promising project, I reached out to Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist at the Museum of the Grand Prairie. We spoke about the project's inspiration and unique scope, as well as how our readers can get involved.
Synder and the Museum staff have been working throughout the pandemic, collaborating on projects like Pandemic as Portal for Change. She remembers how during the initial lockdown we were hopeful that the multiple pandemics would lead to change. "I know people are really overwhelmed right now, because there's a lot happening," Snyder noted. "And the change isn't necessarily the change that they were hoping for in the pandemic. But none of these things happened in isolation." She goes on to highlight how the rise of COVID had such a big economic impact for so many. "They lost their jobs, their homes. We've seen a significant mental health crisis and continued food insecurity." ...