The art of Marilyn Leverton, J.J. Graham, Babz Lupoli and Harriet Blum.
COVID-19 has disrupted life in many ways, and artists in Flagler and Volusia counties have found beauty in those disruptions.
“This was a real from-the-heart piece,” said Marilyn Leverton, of her sculpture "Quarantine.” Leverton has been a sculpture artist for over 25 years and now creates art in a studio space at the Salvo Art Project in Bunnell. “When everything shut down, I couldn’t see my grandkids, except through a window. It left me feeling heartbroken, because I couldn’t even touch them. Somehow seeing them at a distance was even worse.”
Leverton’s sculpture portrays a distressed family separated by a pane of glass.
"Creating this art has acted as a form of therapy for me."
“Creating this art has acted as a form of therapy for me,” continued Leverton. “People were in tears when they saw the piece, because everyone is going through the same thing and can relate.”
Her follow-up piece, "Back on the beach," reflects her renewed optimism as life is slowly returning back to normal after the quarantine was lifted.
“The world just needs some beauty right now,” said J.J. Graham, founder of the Salvo Art Project. “It’s so easy to get into a dark place and cast an image to it, so it’s conflicting as an artist. Do I explore this dark place, or do I try to capture the beauty beyond it?”
Graham’s painting reflects his observation on society's reaction to the virus outbreak.
"Do I explore this dark place, or do I try to capture the beauty beyond it?"
“The boxes are symbolizing individuals, in their own comfort zone as they wade through uncharted territory," he said of his painting, "RONA." "As I am watching this chaos going on in the world, the only way for me to approach this situation is abstractly. This pandemic is unlike anything else we have ever seen, so I think we are all just figuring it out and navigating through this the best way we can.”
The Ormond Art Museum is doing its part by featuring local artists virtually, in a pandemic-inspired online exhibition. Among the many artists featured in the exhibition are Ormond Beach's Babz Lupoli and Harriet Blum.
“On one of my many walks on the beach over the last few weeks, I have seen this view of the La Playa Beach Resort, and although I had seen it many times before, all of a sudden the significance of the one room that looked new among all the empty, un-renovated rooms reminded me of how we all are somewhat isolated from our surroundings,” said Blum, describing her photograph "Social Distancing," as quoted from the Ormond Memorial Art Museum's online exhibition. “It occurred to me that that one room seemed to have been completed, while all the other rooms were still being worked on, and it gave the feeling of being all alone in that being space, especially with the beach being deserted.”
Babz Lupoli’s painting "Ebb and Flow" also inspired by the oceanside, reflects an alternate emotion.
“We are living in a very unusual time on the planet, as we are dealing with a wide range of emotions and sweeping changes/disruptions to our daily lives," Lupoli said on OMAM's website. "The ebb and flow of the oceans, the changing tides, the migrating birds and passing ships remind us that our days are ever changing and we must learn to cope and make the most of each day. A common theme in my pieces is hope. I believe it is up to each individual to find joy in their lives.”