The effects of the Coronavirus epidemic in 2020 are unlike anything I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. It’s a bit daunting to fathom the full extent to which lives of people across the globe have been effected, the impact to the economy, and what recovery might look like in the months and years to come. The deaths, discomfort, mental anguish and heightened levels of concern make for a terrible state of affairs, and the mandated isolation and accompanying loneliness doesn’t make it any easily to endure, emotionally, these trying times.
I’ve seen glimpses of bright spots as people seek different forms of social interaction and put additional effort towards creative outlets with their additional free time. That’s what has inspired me to give a rebirth to Local Artist Gallery, a project I started more than a decade ago.
To some degree, it’s sad that art only gets an increased priority in our lives due to social distancing and the mass closing of public entertainment options. Professional sports, movie theaters, countless forms of recreation involving social interaction. Maybe it seems trivial that these aspects of life are put on hold for a few months, but many people take considerable enjoyment in these things, and now they’re not available in the ways they were just weeks ago, with very little warning. So people seek out other things to enjoy, alternative options to fill the hours of their week which are suddenly unfilled. Art deserves better than to be enjoyed only when people are left with few other options.
In the past decade, I abandoned this website for a variety of reasons, partially due to a lack of technical ability to make it function like I wanted to (and a lack of money to pay someone to help me with it), but largely because other interests took the forefront. Sure, my wife and I had a child during that time, but I did work on other personal projects in my time outside my regular 9-to-5 job (which also included anywhere from a 90-minute to 3-hour round-trip commute on any given day).
So that’s one good thing to come from the otherwise horrible pandemic we’re experiencing in 2020, the rebirth of a site where I can do my part to help artists share their work with a global audience.