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Collaborative art project at NWTC captures individual experiences during COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 7:25 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - One art project at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) hopes to capture the individual experiences of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mary Beth Balch is in her element working with clay and creating art.

“I miss my fellow artists. We’ve been working from home, and that’s really hard,” said Balch. “We share with each other, and we inspire each other.”

The COVID Collaboration hopes to show Balch and others that even though they may be spending time apart they are not alone.

“We were just talking about how everyone was kind of stuck at home during this crisis, so we wanted to come up with some type of sculptural, 3D sculptural piece based around that COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aaron Reimers, Artistic Design Project Coordinator at the NWTC Artisan and Business Center.

“They sent an email out about a collaborative piece, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh! That would be so perfect!’” exclaimed Balch.

She uses clay and wood to bring her experiences during the pandemic to life on three hexagon tiles. Those tiles along with dozens of others will be assembled to create a 3D sculpture.

“A friend of mine had the COVID at the very beginning, and I would drop things off at curbside drop-off,” said Balch. “She would be in her window in her little mask, even though the windows were closed, but she was so miserable. She didn’t want anybody else to get it. When I would drop it off and I would see her little mask in the window, I wanted to do that for this.”

The art project is not only an outlet for expression but also healing.

“It’s also great for families,” said Reimers. “My whole family is doing it. It’s a great way to start that talk on how everybody feels and what their experiences were.”

There are still some tiles left for free through NWTC. You can get up to three by registering at this link.

The tiles must be returned by September 4 to be assembled into the sculpture.

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