Social distancing art exhibits

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 10:24 AM CDT
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The Noyes Art Gallery has been around for 27 years. It features more than 100 artists, and some of them are trying something new.

"We have sculpture, and painting, photography and jewelry, stained glass and blown glass, wood sculptures and bronzes, you name it, every artist does something different," gallery operator Julia Noyes said. In these uncertain times, the gallery artists are taking their talents to the street. "We are doing an outside show, we call our 'social distancing outside art exhibit', Noyes said. "So anytime you would walk by or you would drive by the Noyes Art Gallery, we are at 119 South 9th, you can see lots of art work."

Everyone here at the gallery is following proper social distancing techniques, and they are getting a lot of positive reaction from people on the street. "Some people drive up curbside and take a look, and call us later if they saw something they like," artist Ruth Langan said. She is working on some "little libraries". It's a project spearheaded by an anonymous donor. "We have 9 artists painting 8 library houses, they are little mini-houses, and these will be located all over the city of Lincoln," Noyes said.

Painter and woodworker Kevin Baker is also one of the artists that you can see at work on the sidewalk when you walk by. "I hike a lot, so I'm constantly traveling, and I'm finding pieces of wood that are interesting to me, I do a lot of figurative pieces, I do a lot of landscape pieces, sometimes I put my landscape pieces on the wood," Baker said.

In addition to watching the art demonstrations, the public and also get involved by adding to a butterfly mural on the south side of the building. "We have it set up where you have to call to make the appointment," artist Shailee Curin said. People are offered masks and gloves, and given the chance to do art. Pearce Siders and his mom took part, and he made a spider-man butterfly.

The artists involved in this social distancing art exhibit say they enjoy being outside, and making a connection with people. "I love to come down and work out front right now," artist Lynette Fast said. "My mission in all of this I guess is to help people see that artists are still working, and we are still doing what we can do, and we are doing it outside."

Julia Noyes says her gallery remains open. With four rooms downstairs and nine studios above, it's easy to stay separated. But she's glad to be bringing the art to the street right now. "I think by having the art out where people can see it, I think it's a huge positive statement that life is going on," Noyes said. "We are creating, we are putting it out there, we are sharing, we are encouraging people to feel good, to feel beauty, and to have that experience."

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