None of us is untouched by the pandemic that threatens, it sometimes seems, to swallow our world almost whole. But while the measure of personal, social, economic and cultural transformation effected within our lives over these past few weeks and across the coming months can’t be predicted and has yet to be made, we are, nonetheless, still here, even if immeasurably changed.

We, in this instance, are the arts at Ohio State. Our familiar workplaces, materials and colleagues are no longer close at hand. Like everybody else, we’re still figuring this thing out. But we are not gone. We haven’t stopped. We haven’t even paused.

Over the next months, the College of Arts and Sciences will be sharing this virtual gallery of highlights from the wide variety of new and continuing forms of creative experimentation and imaginative expression recently generated by Ohio State students, faculty and alumni in the arts.

You may wonder, “What can artists do in a period of ‘social distancing’?” Here you’ll discover a few of our answers, as well as some of our questions. We hope you enjoy them (applause welcome).

Michael Mercil
Faculty Fellow for Arts and Humanities
Professor, Department of Art

The arts are where we go for inspiration, emotional connections, love, hope, joy and escape

"As the emergency situation progressed and announcements were made, I had no idea how we would move our deeply embodied work online. But after a few Zoom meetings with faculty and grad students sharing their brilliant ideas about how to be artists, scholars and teachers in this new situation, I was profoundly moved."

Nadine George-Graves
Department of Dance

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Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Projects
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Ann Hamilton reflects on "shifts in perceptions and creation myths"

Ann Hamilton reflects on "shifts in perceptions and creation myths"

"Like everyone — the daily news of the spreading virus, invisible to the eye but manifesting with heartbreak in bodies across the globe, the conditions of social distancing, the recent storms with nights of thunder and lightning, even the lone, long call of the cardinal signaling for a mate — collectively work to make a different lens on everything — no less so on work in the studio. The view out my window is the same but what I see is different."

- Ann Hamilton, Distinguished University Professor of Art

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Stone sample

Pathways by Karen Tharp


Read Department of Art graduate student Karen Tharp's blog on creating throughout this distance-learning/making time. "‘Pathway’ implies flow, direction – left to right, right to left – but I think of them, often, as more universal (all the way right, then all the way left, or two parties converging in the middle), which distorts and deepens their meaning much like playing a record backwards does."

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Georgette Seabrooke working On Her WPA Federal Art Project mural, Recreation In Harlem, for the Nurses' Recreation Room in Harlem Hospital. NARA ARCHIVES/SHUTTERSTOCK

Art is more than just a dispensable luxury during difficult times. Jody Patterson, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Chair of Art History, examines in an essay for Artnews how the arts were supported by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal measures during the Great Depression.

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Design Spring Online Exhibit
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Sarah Maye Myers EMPOW(HER)
Luke Gonos RESOL3D
Tori Campbell Designing for Expressive Character Performance in Virtual Reality
Gabby Wilson Ginger
Gabriela Avila Sine Waste System
Yiting Wang Co-design with Older Adults for Voice User Interfaces
Live on Broad
Cain Lanker Proudly Planted
Laura Lenhart La Rambla
William Nickley Assess This Mess
Kelsey Regan Collective
The Market
Rebecca Lu EZOO
Simon Lalonde Advocating for vulnerable populations, a critical analysis of codesign activities in the public sector

Sing along with this Virtual Chorus

As a message of hope for the community, Columbus Symphony Orchestra chorus members recorded themselves singing individually. Chorus accompanist and School of Music pianist Casey Cook provided the piano track.

Comfort Support for Medical Staff

Comfort Support for Medical Staff

From Department of Art graduate student Brianna Gluszak: "Returning home to Alberta, Canada, has a lot of ups and downs for me. Honestly, my saving grace is that my mom is still at work as a nurse. Amongst her rants about work and PPE, she mentioned that she was having a hard time with the mask, glasses, and goggles they are required to wear for every patient. I spent a few days sewing all my scrap fabric into scrub caps (their department doesn’t usually wear these) for the doctors and nurses, as well as sewing two buttons on each side for mask relief. Clint, one of the doctors, is showcasing how the cap relieves strain on his ears by resting his goggles in the fabric and attaching the mask to the buttons."

Always, by Melissa Vogley-Woods

Always, by Melissa Vogley-Woods, a 2012 MFA graduate of the Department of Art, is now on view on Neil Avenue in Columbus. The design is a reproduction of textile fabric designed in 1920, the very end of the last pandemic of this nature. The re-vision of this pattern helps remind us to imagine that this, too, shall pass.

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Tune into a "Screen Concert"

The Columbus-based Tower Duo, flutist Erin Helgeson Torres and School of Music saxophonist Michael Rene Torres, give a “screen concert” from their living room.