In this issue, we take a peek out the quarantine windows of West Virginia creatives. | Cabell County windowscape by Douglas John Imbrogno
People may think that prioritizing art in a time of crisis wastes precious time. But embracing the arts now is more important than ever. The arts should not been seen as frivolous and extraneous, but essential to our well-being. Today, we are collectively challenged, regardless of where we are on Earth, with navigating an entirely new landscape.
As we shelter-in-place, let’s make use of the arts to reflect on and understand our mental states. It’s a good bet we’re all swinging between happiness, joy, connectedness and distress, anxiety, and isolation. At a time when the lines are blurred—between enjoying a break from overly-scheduled lives and the very scary reason for that change in routine—time spent on creativity is a safe place for processing it all.
The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts will be exploring what role the arts can play as we navigate this uncharted territory. Our aim is to support the West Virginia creative community with tools at our command—both digital communications and old-fashioned storytelling. We look forward to shining a light on Mountain State creatives who lend a helping hand by running toward disaster, not away. In that light, we take our hats off (though who’s wearing hats in quarantine?!) to such efforts as these:
The “ragtag group of makers, home sewists and organizers” with Holler Maskforce, creating lifesaving masks that are functional but also hand-made and beautiful. (Profile coming in a future issue.)
Wild Rose Soap Co., in Shepherdstown WV, which is collecting donated bottles of isopropyl alcohol, to make hand sanitizer to distribute for free to health care workers and homeless shelters in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.
Resiliency is part of West Virginia’s DNA and surfaces when needed most. Like now. Please know your efforts are appreciated.
We invite you to share inspiring stories of life in your studio and community. What are you doing to keep art alive in the Mountain State during this beautiful spring of uncertainty? E-mail me directly at renee AT tamarackfoundation.org or call 304.926.3770. Be well, stay safe. | Renee Margocee, Executive Director, Tamarack Foundation for the Arts
In ISSUE 5, we asked you to share what life looks like from your favorite window on the world, now that we’re all quarantining-in-place. You shared your views. Literally. We’re still accepting submissions of .jpg or .png files, to firstname.lastname@example.org
JES REGER, TFA 2020 Emerging Artist : “Here’s my favorite window—I always get the most beautiful views of sunrises.”
DOMENICA ZARA QUEEN, TFA Design Team Member and Operations Manager: “Looking out onto my back deck and watching nature do its thing settles my soul.”
MACK MILES: Mack is a visual artist in Charleston, WV, who believes “you can live five blocks from the main street of a capital city and still seem like you are in the forest.” He took painted versions of some lovely viewscapes out his window.
BETTY RIVARD is a fine art landscape photographer, writer, and editor. Nice tree! “It’s a weeping cherry,” she says. “But it’s, like, one of the tallest ones I’ve ever seen! Taller than my two-story house.”
JACI RICE, TFA 2020 Emerging Artist: “This window is behind the headboard of my bed. Every morning, my youngest faithfully crawls up, perches on top of my pillows and looks for his beloved mourning doves that sit on the power lines just outside. Though the sun rises on the other side of the house, the skies are still pretty spectacular in the morning. The sunsets are even better.”
Paula Clendenin: Paula is a painter and printmaker in Charleston, WV. She used to live overtop Starlings on the city’s East End, which made for some nice breakfasts. She now lives in a cottage with a big yard, but “with boring scenes out my window.” This cellphone photo—which looks like a painting but isn’t—shows the growth outside her window, lit by a streetlight.
BRAIDEN MADDOX, TFA Design Team Member & videographer at Lady Mountain Films: Braiden and her partner were in the midst of planning a move to Fayetteville WV, but the pandemic put their lodging plans on hold. “I heard you were looking for a place to stay in Fayetteville,” a local contact told her. “What about a yurt?” A yurt it was! We’re reasonably certain, here at Tamarack Foundation for the Arts world headquarters, this is one of the few photos of quarantine you have seen today, looking out the window of a yurt.
PS: If you or a loved one needs a quarantine pick-me-up, even saying the word ‘yurt’ is fun.
Spread the Word
We welcome comments and feedback below. Or call us at 304.926.3770 or email me directly at renee AT tamarackfoundation.org. For media inquires about stories on TFA Fellows or other topics, contact TFA Design Team member Douglas John Imbrogno at info AT tamarackfoundation.org.
NOTE: If you were forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for free at this link: tamarackforthearts.substack.com | Be well and be safe. | Renee Margocee | Executive Director | Tamarack for the Arts