Laura Taylor . Charlotte Juergens . Nadia DeLane . Andrea Arroyo . Naming the Lost Memorials
On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Co-curated by New Kingston artist and alumni-exhibition artist Laura Taylor and Brooklyn filmmaker Charlotte Juergens, this exhibition is positioned at the intersection of art and history, memorializing lives lost and communities changed by the pandemic.
Image: Laura Taylor, Sorry, 2022, 18 x 18 inches, Sorry board & playing cards, record pieces, paint.
As we approach the three-year anniversary of lockdown in New York, Commemorating COVID addresses the trauma of bereaved families. Over one million people have lost their lives to COVID, leaving 40% of Americans in mourning. As people and as artists, we hold space for the heartbreak of this pandemic. Our exhibit features five COVID memorials, which recognize and represent grief in different ways.
Historically, the United States has neglected the public memory of pandemics. Almost no memorials commemorate those who died of diseases like Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Cholera, or the 1918 Influenza. Our exhibit refuses this pattern of neglect, erasure, and forgetting, pushing back against societal pressures to “move on” from COVID without making space for public grief and healing.
Commemorating COVID also highlights the challenge of navigating private bereavement in the midst of public mourning. Losing someone to COVID means processing the sudden death of a loved one while reckoning with the broader implications of the pandemic. This can make the experience of mourning feel at once too public and too isolated, especially when communities have been deprived of funerals, memorial services, and other traditions that normally help make loss bearable. Commemorating COVID speaks to the experience of individuals whose private loss feels so public, and of communities working to grieve together in the midst of an ongoing crisis. Click here for more about this exhibition project.
Laura Taylor studied at The Ontario College of Art, Le Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivières, and at The New York Studio School in New York City. She has been awarded residencies at Kulterrmodell in Passau, Germany; Treffpunkst in Ried-im-Innkreis, Austria; Governor’s Island in New York City; and the Vermont Studio Center. Exhibitions include: AIR Gallery, The Painting Center, Brenda Taylor Gallery, RKL Gallery, the Salzburg International Art Fair, Bushel Collective, Wired Gallery and more. (www.laurataylorpainter.com).
Charlotte Juergens is a filmmaker, archival producer, and history scholar from Brooklyn, NY. She recently directed the feature documentary Sunken Roads, which premiered theatrically in 2021. As an archival producer, Charlotte has collaborated on numerous film, museum, theatrical, and network news projects. She is currently pursuing a PhD in American Culture at the University of Michigan, where her work focuses on the public memory of pandemics (past and present). Charlotte holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Yale. (www.charlottejuergens.com).
Nadia DeLane is a visual storyteller whose works reflect the sensual dimensions of urban life. Coif City, DeLane’s interview-based hair journey zine, sold at Printed Matter, Bluestockings NYC, and Gosh! Comics in London. Her fine art is on permanent display in Penn State University’s Africana Research Center and the Heart and Kidney Transplant Center at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersey. Memory Opus, her soundscape on the impacts of Covid-19, was exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York. (www.nadiadelane.com/).
Andrea Arroyo is an award-winning artist working in painting, installation, and public art. Her work is exhibited, published, and collected internationally. Exhibitions include 50 solo and over 200 group shows; awards include Creatives Rebuild New York, New York Foundation for the Arts; United Nations Lurie Award; Official Artist of the Latin Grammy; Groundbreaking Latina in the Arts and multiple awards from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Puffin Foundation, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. (www.andreaarroyo.com/).
Naming the Lost Memorials (NTLM) was launched in May 2020 by a grassroots team of intrepid New York artists, activists, and folklorists to create memorials for individuals lost to COVID-19 in New York City. From May 2020 to June 2021 they created ephemeral memorials on fences in all five boroughs and invited public participation in naming the lost. Recently they received a Mellon Foundation grant to continue this project in 2023–2025, beginning with a memorial installation and ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn in May 2023. (namingthelost.com/memorials/).