Burlington, VT — For some Vermont students, making art has become a way to find solace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in the Burlington City & Lake Semester class at Burlington High School (BHS) took this idea one step further to collaborate with Burlington-based artist Mary Lacy on “Window of Hope,” an art exhibit that documents student experiences and emotions over the past six weeks. The exhibit premiers live this Wednesday, May 27, from 5 – 5:30 PM.
During the premier, Lacy and students will host a virtual gallery tour of dozens of artwork pieces, including sketches, photography, painting, and audio recordings. The event will also premiere a short film, produced in collaboration with Burlington-based Soapbox Arts, that highlights students’ artwork and the experience of making art in this extraordinary time, followed by a Q&A with the online audience. The event is free and open to the public via Zoom.
Lacy, who was an online artist-in-residence with students in BHS’ Burlington City & Lake Semester this spring, helmed the project. With her guidance, students worked independently over the past 6 weeks to document life at home and in their neighborhood while in-person school was disrupted due to the pandemic.
For her contribution, Lacy drew nightly self-portraits just before falling asleep. “Making art is a powerful way of documenting an experience and telling a story. It is a way of remembering,” said Lacy. “My hope is that this collective project can serve as a time capsule representation of what the quarantine was like for students in our community.”
Junior Kaltumo Ibrahim used video to document her efforts to learn the ukulele. “It was fun to try and make progress on something that seemed so hopeless at first,” said Ibrahim.
“This process was a healthy and creative way we could let our emotions and feelings out,” said BHS Junior Ana Sealy, whose piece, “Emotion Collage,” features sketches in colored pencil.
Junior Tovin Gordesky-Hooper, who composed a piece entitled, “White Noise,” added, “This art expresses how many of us feel during the pandemic: you are not alone, even though you are stuck at home.”
Burlington School District Superintendent Yaw Obeng shared his enthusiasm for the virtual art gallery. “This is yet another example of the great work happening at BHS and in the Burlington City and Lake Semester program. Our students are resilient and have stayed creative through this experience to produce art that has real-world impact. Kudos to our students, staff, and partners, and thank you Mary Lacy!”