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COVID & the Arts: Help Figge Look Back at 2020

Figge Art Museum

After a crazy, unprecedented year, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport wants your help in looking back at 2020. 

The new exhibit “2020 Vision: You Are Here, You Are Not Alone” has opened in the Figge’s second-floor Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery and provides several chances for visitors to participate and contribute in person or from home. It offers an opportunity to think, reflect, and create in the present moment with clarity – with 2020 vision.

 Museum CEO Michelle Hargrave says the exhibit is a work in progress and its goal is  healing.
“We came up with it because 2020 has really been a challenging year for everyone. And the Figge is committed to helping our community heal, through the power of art.”
She and the museum believe every moment is a gift and visitors are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings as they engage fully with activities in the gallery space, designed to reflect on the challenges of the past and the hopefulness of the future.

Credit Figge Art Museum
Figge CEO Michelle Hargrave

“Although it may not always feel that way, you’re not alone. The exhibition offers an opportunity to slow down, to think, reflect and create. It encourages looking at the present moment with clarity, or with 2020 vision.”

The museum activities include things for people to do in person or at home --
· Our Community – Photo Projection – send a picture of your work-from-home, school-from-home, quarantine, or pandemic-life including portraits, selfies, or photos that represent what you and/or your family are going through.
· 2020/2021 Activity – write down a silver lining or an accomplishment from 2020 and a word of hope for the future.
· Appreciation Chain – on a mask template, write down what you are thankful for. It can be a word, phrase, memory or an experience. They will be taped to a chain on the gallery wall.
· Postcards of Thanks – use the materials provided or use your own to create a postcard for members of the healthcare community. Cards created at home can be dropped off at the front desk box and will be delivered locally to frontline healthcare workers.
At the museum, be part of “Color Your World” – color one of the pages that is
part of the larger landscape scene on the wall. There will be a number on the back
of the page to orient you for where it fits in the larger landscape. Hargrave says the “world” created aims to remind people that what they draw is not only part of an bigger artwork, but they individually are part of the larger community.
All the gallery spaces have limits on the number of people that can be in them at
one time, and patrons have been cooperative.
“Actually, they’ve been amazing. And in fact, we’ve had a number of people reach
out and say they’re really grateful we have these policies in place, and so
obviously, our first priority is the safety and health of our staff and our visitors.
I’ve been very pleased we haven’t had pushback on that front. Everyone’s been not
only complying, but very grateful.”
“We’ve had a few people commenting that they feel like we’re the safest place in
the Quad-Cities, and that makes me feel happy.”
For community members who are not able visit in person, the Figge is offering a
way to participate in the new exhibit from home. Responses for the at-home
activities can be sent to 2020VisionFigge@gmail.com with the subject being the
title of the activity you are responding to. All submissions will be added to the
installation in the gallery by a Figge staff member.
“2020 Vision” will be on view through Feb. 14. The Figge Café is currently
closed and will reopen Feb. 16. The next major traveling exhibit, of American art
from 1810 to 2010, will open Feb. 20.
For details on how to participate in “2020 Vision,” visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.