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Local artist uses pandemic for inspiration

The Erie Art Museum Spring Show opens Friday, April 8, and runs through Friday, Aug. 5.

Like many, Kimberly Slocum has been waiting for the pandemic to end, waiting for normalcy, just waiting.

The pandemic did provide Slocum with some time to spend in the studio.

While she was waiting, while the world was waiting, she produced more than 24 works and entitled them her Waiting series.

“During two months of isolation from family and friends in the spring of 2020, I found time to enter my studio,” she said. “Too anxious to sit any longer and listen to the nothingness that continued to be repeated every hour on the hour about nothing happening in a world that was coming undone. Something, anything that was better than listening to the stories of lack, illness, and death. Waiting for supplies, waiting to hear what the scientist said, the politicians, the medical experts, the news anchors, my employer, my children, my family, and my friends.”

She found a used piece of watercolor paper and some paint.

“I began making random course marks with my brush,” Slocum said. “Some were subtle while others seemed chaotic and irregular. Soon what appeared to be something figurative emerged. A couple more strokes and some negative painting, another figure, and another appeared. Soon they all just lined up.”

As she distanced herself, the figures in her painting were also distanced.

“It was distorted and yet somehow clear that a line had formed of human shapes,” she said. “No gender, just humans in line waiting like lines make you do, standing there waiting, a beginning with no end.”

The work seemed so familiar.

“This was my life at that moment,” Slocum said. “When I look at this painting I remember the feelings of that time and the day I painted it: pretending to be calm while waiting, my thoughts like the brush strokes chaotic and irregular.”

She submitted that piece to the Erie Art Museum Spring Show.

“There were 212 artists that entered over 450 works,” Slocum said. “Waiting” was juried into the show among 79 works by 76 artists, by Juror Jessica Hong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

The show opens Friday, April 8, and runs through Friday, Aug. 5.

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