~ Submitted on behalf of the Gallery@First Parish
The pandemic may be subsiding (fingers crossed) but what some Bedford residents did during those unprecedented “lockdown” months became an exhibit to document spending time during the pandemic.
How did this unusual show come about? First Parish member and local artist Doris Smith tells it like this:
“The First Parish Gallery Committee was together, taking down a display by artist Mary Firestone, who died in 2019, which had been on view during Covid. We thought we should have the Gallery ready for a new show whenever the church opened up. We tossed around ideas of ways to use Mary’s art to create other art and discussed some workshops we could offer during the summer. We wanted to get church members involved.”
Smith goes on to say she had the idea to ask church members to submit pictures of something they made during the pandemic which could then be turned into a PowerPoint presentation that everyone in the church could see. Committee members encouraged people to submit their projects and “we were pleased and amazed at the different projects submitted.”
Members of First Parish used the time to create a wide range of arts and crafts. Painting, creating Japanese and Pollinator gardens, quilt making, weaving, and cooking new and different foods were predictable entries.
But several creators came up with unusual activities. These are a few of the ways in which people filled their days when socializing in person was on hold.
- Larry Herz walked all the streets of Bedford and many in Lexington and Concord;
- Anthony Van Der Mude authored a research paper that was accepted for publication;
- Wendell Smith and Luisa Granitto excavated a cupboard in their 1830s home, revealing a hidden staircase;
- Chris Wojnar initiated the Peace Pole Public Art Project (link to the peace pole article);
- John McClain came up with two inventions: a Window Chalice that uses a GPS receiver to determine when local sunset is and then sheds a little extra light on the world from dusk to dawn and a Window Menorah that uses a GPS to determine if it is a night of Hanukkah and lights the correct number of candles.
Now there is a virtual slide show, “What We Made During the Pandemic” on view at First Parish’s Art gallery, which you can see here: https://www.uubedford.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/What-we-created-during-Pandemic-v3.pdf