December 12, 2020 – January 20, 2021
Eager to begin exhibiting art during COVID-19, MARN presented Moving Forward, a two person exhibition installed across two window bays of its soon to open MARN ART + CULTURE HUB. Located on the main street of the Historic Third Ward, the public-facing windows allowed viewers to experience the installations safely from the sidewalk. The installations by Marsha McDonald and Gabrielle Tesfaye featured work about continuing in spite of obstacles in a year of constant uncertainty.
“Portrait,” presents many hundreds of black and white flower photo cards of common garden flowers of Wisconsin and Japan (where she teaches part of the year). Repeated, the portraits convey both the diversity and similarities that unite modest household gardens and communities, while also serving as mementos of love, loss, and remembrance. Coronavirsus death numbers continue, though news of multiple vaccines is heartening. Beauty is always welcome to enter our lives, but we need it, as a force of balance and renewal, now more than ever.
Those who have had the unfortunate loss of a loved one from COVID-19 were invited to fill out a brief google form with their loved one’s name and a memory. McDonald included their loved one’s name in the exhibition as well as gifted a postcard to the person.
Tesfaey’s installation, “Moving Forward,” represents a narrative of internal experiences, beginning with muted graphic drawings and progressing into color paintings. A QR code was placed within the window for viewers to visit an extended online exhibition presenting the writing paired with 5 featured pieces.
Moving forwards into love
Moving forwards into light
Moving forwards into the
Beauty we have become
Within the darkness of light
A collection of drawings, paintings, stories, and poems created in the cocoon of 2020.