My studio is a think tank, an exhibit site for the artwork of one person, and a place in which to realize 2D and 3D projects. When I develop large pieces, an assistant or assistants will sometimes help me; however, with recent events, creation has become a solitary pursuit. For over 20 years, I have enjoyed the tranquility of my studio environment. It is a sanctuary akin to Monet’s refuge at Giverny or the enveloping safety of Shangri-La.
The first artist that reached out to me with a phone call in relation to COVID-19 was Corrine Colarusso. She lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island, in the summer and Atlanta, Georgia, in the winter. I had reviewed her “Magic Gold, Full Sun” exhibition at Newport Art Museum as a cover story for Artscope’s May/June 2014 issue. Since then, we have become good friends. During our talk, Colarusso told me that she had resolved to call an artist a day to balance out the strangeness of opening her “Every Leaf a Shelter” show in Atlanta knowing it would close in a couple of days due to COVID-19 associated mandates. She pivoted the situation to use time she’d otherwise spend on show details to now visit with friends and colleagues by telephone in healing conversations for her and for them. “Compared to the suffering and death that so many have already experienced,” she said about disappointment, “it is nothing. The work does not go bad, and I am hopeful there will be other opportunities to show these paintings together again.”