Local artist Deane Bowers created The Together While Apart Art Project amidst the worldwide pandemic, out of a desire to combat isolation, loneliness, and unhappiness during an unsettling time. Throughout the country, people were overwhelmed by economic worries, widespread racial unrest due to systemic injustices, and continuous deaths from COVID. For many, it was too much to bear.
Unwilling to sit on the sidelines and just watch the suffering, Bowers decided she needed to find a way to bring people together, even if it was only in a small way. She thought that if she could gather people, even people physically separated, to work towards something bigger than themselves, that collectively they might find joy, fellowship, and fun. So, Bowers turned to what she does best, making art.
Bowers got twenty artists from over 8 states together from afar to use their creative gifts to collaborate on a large work of art. What is significant about this large project is that each artist channeled the emotions they were experiencing during the height of the global pandemic in hopes of healing themselves as well as providing comfort to a broader audience.
Bowers was able to locate them through an open call on social media, as well as using contacts generated by a wide range of friends and family.
At the onset of this project, the only art supplies Bowers had an abundant supply of were recycled shipping boxes, so she sent each artist several 6” x 6” square pieces of cut cardboard from these recycled boxes with one simple instruction: think outside of the box. The goal was that through the creative process, each artist would find an outlet for his or her feelings and eventually these emotions would transform into joy. Ultimately, their collective joys would be multiplied and shared with many others through their artwork.
Bowers says this piece is finally finished and it’s time for this unique, colorful, and deeply meaningful art to find its forever home. The recipient is yet to be determined, but it will be a non profit or medical facility whose mission resonates with the Together While Apart artists.
Together While Apart Participants:
- Deane Bowers – Seabrook Island, SC
- Liz Brent – Chicago, IL
- Sandy Buffie – Washington, DC
- Nikki Contini – San Rafael, CA
- Will Cooke – Charlottesville, VA (Will’s friends, Jennifer Mildonian and Marcelle VanYahres)
- Lynnette Driver – Brevard, NC
- Celie Gehring – Richmond, VA
- Lynn Karegeannes – Asheville, NC
- Cathy Kleiman – Charleston, SC
- Dayo Johnson – Nashiville, TN
- Amy Lauria – Painesville, OH
- Rachel Mclaughlin – Charlottesille, VA
- Debbie Pompano – Hanover, VA
- Rebecca Potts – Los Angeles, CA
- Frankie Slaughter – Richmond, VA
- Jim Weaver – Florence, AL
- Cindy Webb – Statesville, NC
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