"Creatives are needed on the frontlines to help shape the new normal."
Tell us about yourself what you're currently working on.
Constructing puppets and exploring short videos using a cell phone. Puppets Khordell and Smooth Earl have been posting Facebook and Instagram PSAs about safety “during corona.”
I am revisiting an ongoing series of “Angel Cans,” using tin cans, acrylic, glass, wood and found objects.
Food has also gotten more attention as an art form. I take photos of vegan and vegetarian meals, on the spot, fresh off the stove and on the plate. The challenge is to arrange a plate and shoot before the meal gets cold.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
Social distancing has put limits on meeting people to take photos for artwork. A series of barber shop paintings has been on pause because the shops are not open. A series of portrait drawings has also been affected. I haven’t made much of an effort to approach people in social distancing and ask, “Can I sketch your portrait?” The few recent portrait drawings have people wearing masks; a dramatic twist to the portrait series.
In your opinion, what is the role that the creative process can play in helping us confront our "new" reality?
We are already seeing people finding creative ways to connect socially and share art forms. Museum and gallery art exhibits, musical and theater performances, even television news casts and school graduations are adapting to the “new reality.” Made in Isolation is a case in point. It is fun to see artists’ creative processes in isolation. Some of these ways of sharing are helping artists reach larger audiences than they would have previously.
This “unprecedented” era is ushering in a new way of life. It challenges us to rethink how we go about our daily lives. Creatives are needed on the frontlines to help shape the new normal.
Schroeder Cherry is a visual artist, museum educator and puppeteer living in Baltimore. See more of his work here.