As many of us have experienced, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that connection to others in virtual spaces is more important than ever. AWA Signature Member Barbara Schilling and seven other women from West Michigan began gathering over weekly Zoom meetings to connect and talk about their progress with their art, share techniques, and find inspiration. While the artists are diverse in their styles, techniques, and mediums, they’ve embraced each other’s individual pursuits. They’ve also managed to not just survive but thrive together, staying focused and collectively creating art amidst the pain of the pandemic.
Barbara shares, “While some of us were friends prior to the startup of the Zoom meetings, many of us did not know one another except by name. It has brought us so close together and has formed a bond of friendship and mutual support as artists that will last long after COVID-19 is no longer a dictating force in our lives. Living in Michigan, the winters can be pretty cold, and although some braver souls are still out plein air painting, most of us are sticking to studio works right now. However, during the warmer months we also started meeting regularly to paint en plein air, and with social distancing held outdoor in person critique sessions! It’s been a remarkable development of support and friendship that has become so important to us all.”
What has come out of this new friendship even during some of the darkest times is Silver Lining, an exhibition showcasing all eight award-winning artists at Frames Unlimited Gallery in Kentwood, Michigan.
Silver Lining Exhibit dates are from April 9 – May 30, 2021.
Gallery Info: 2964 29th St. SE, Kentwood, MI | (616) 942-0091
- Lynn Anderson
- Elaine Dalcher
- Susan Ellison
- Debra Reid Jenkins
- Kathleen Kalinowski
- Barbara Schilling
- Judith Tummino
- Karen VanDam Michmerhuizen
Feature Image: Light from Within by Barbara Schilling.