14 East’s Virtual Art Gallery

Outside of the grueling everyday process of enduring quarantine, it’s expected but not exactly comforting to hear social media usage has increased by 61 percent over normal usage.

But there’s another side to these statistics  reinvention of the way we consume art. Showcasing and enjoying art the way we typically would is impractical from six feet apart. Concerts are canceled. Galleries and museums are closed. Access to the tools, resources and spaces artists normally use is severely limited.

Social media is helping to mitigate these losses. Musicians are live streaming concerts, and artists are sharing their latest work virtually and hosting online art classes. And while physically sharing is stalled, virtually sharing is seemingly limitless.

“Artists tend to get the short end of the stick, so to speak, in multiple aspects of life,” said visual artist and DePaul student Elena King. “They become increasingly vulnerable to major changes, which is currently proving to be a significant challenge during this global pandemic.”

While not ideal, stay-at-home orders don’t necessarily limit creation. Whether they were artists from the start or discovered a new passion during this time, some have used staying at home to tap into their creativity.

Some are creating because they need to. Poet Makenzie Beyer had trouble writing after stay-at-home was enacted, so she “actively decided” to stop trying to write. She found herself typing up pieces in between scrolling through recipes or watching TV shows that were less intentional and more instinctual these poems are more meaningful and have been a way to pull herself away from the turmoil.

Regardless of their reasons, people are still creating and still need support. And whether you want to look at art just for fun (ars gratia artis, anyone?), are looking for something to take your mind off things or just want to support your local artists, you’re in the right place.

Join 14 East as we take a break from our worries and turn to supporting some of our artist friends during this time instead.

Thank you for viewing our virtual gallery!  Though each artist brings something different, we hope you were able to sift through and enjoy this compilation of unique work, and, perhaps, even feel inspired. With cancelations and closings, supporting artists, even through a follow or share, goes a long way. We hope our virtual gallery was able to help introduce you to some of the artists in the Chicago scene. Messy feelings are expected in the midst of a global pandemic, and it’s safe to say a lot of us are probably going through it.

Whether through consumption or creation, what better way to make sense of these feelings, or take a break from them, than through art?

Header image by Natalie Wyatt-Aldana

Editor’s Note: Upon Publishing, Alexis Kleefisch’s name was misspelled. This error has since been corrected in the text.