Frances Wolf seeks pandemic photographs for statewide exhibit

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 at 1:58 PM
Frances Wolf seeks pandemic photographs for statewide exhibit by Erika Goss
Photo: PA.Gov

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. entered into a state of emergency due to the rise in cases of the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Now, as we approach the one-year anniversary, many look back on life before the pandemic, or think about how this will affect us in years to come — long after it’s ended. Seeing people with masks and social distancing may soon be considered a thing of the past, however, the importance of documenting this time in history has never been more evident.

Frances Wolf, Pennsylvania's first lady, has placed a call for photographs as part of an exhibition based around the effect of the pandemic. In conjunction with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Wolf wishes to exhibit the impacts of the pandemic on our everyday lives. It’s being called “One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views” and is referred to as “an exhibit by and for Pennsylvanians.”

In an email sent to Edinboro art students, Wolf stated there are many times in history where events such as this have been researched but never experienced. Her hope is that this exhibit will serve as a visual record of the hardships citizens have faced during this time, as well as the obstacles they had to overcome. 

The exhibit will consist of three distinct views during the pandemic. First, it aims to focus on "our heroes" in fields like healthcare; those unable to stay home, as the public needed them most. Next, the exhibit will focus on how people have spent their time during the pandemic, along with how they've coped with things such as remote learning, family “gatherings'' online, and work. Finally, the exhibit wishes to display how communities have fared through this trying time, and how everyone has taken steps to ensure neighbors are cared for, safe, and healthy. 

Wolf has chosen five regional ambassadors, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, to help facilitate and accurately judge the works coming from their region. Representing the southeast region is Shannon Maldonado. According to the contest page, Maldonado is the founder of YOWIE, which is a "creative platform and design studio," and she is a member of the board of directors for the Fleisher Art Memorial. Porsche Johnson is representing central Pennsylvania; she has experience in the health advocacy field, and has been a news reporter and anchor for 13 years. Representing the northwest part of the state is Ceasar Westbrook, who is a fine arts alumnus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The northeast region is being covered by James Hamill, director of public relations for the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. He is also known for being a news reporter. Lastly, Matthew Galluzzo will represent the southwest part of Pennsylvania; he has recently dedicated his life to the betterment of Pittsburgh's riverfronts.

The “One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views” exhibit will open for submissions on Feb. 8 and will close on March 8 at 11:59 p.m. Submissions are open to those who are over 18 and must consist of photography that has been taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Entry into the exhibit is free of charge and anyone interested can submit up to three photographs.

Erika Goss is the Arts Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: edinboro art

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