The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art and the UNLV Office of Undergraduate Research are proud to present A Drawing a Day, a group exhibition documenting the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic through the work of twenty-two artists. Curated by Emmanuel Muñoz, A Drawing A Day consists of over thirty artworks including drawings, sketches, collage, painting, and a musical instrument. Muñoz’s curation serves as a small but important sample of the more than 790 works of art submitted to the Barrick’s interactive online project, A Drawing a Day Keeps the Pandemic Away. Materials from the curator’s interviews with the artists will also be available for visitors to explore.
The project, which was launched soon after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued a stay-at-home order in March 2020, offered a way for a newly isolated community to reconnect. Every day from March 18 through to April 30, 2020, the Barrick posted a unique prompt on its Instagram account (@unlvmuseum) and invited the community to respond by making works of art.
With no restrictions on age or experience level, the participants ranged from professional adult artists to children collaborating with their parents. Images of the artworks were shared online, creating an evolving digital gallery that reflected the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of its audience.
A Drawing a Day brings a selection of these artworks from the virtual world to the physicality of the gallery wall. Revisiting them one year after they were created, the exhibition presents them as evidence that art can help us continue to move forward when our questions about the path ahead of us become unanswerable. It intends to celebrate all of the artists, young and old, who helped us stay in touch during a time of crisis and isolation. As one of the artists, Jeff Musser states, “We didn’t know what was going on. Drawings weren’t going to solve the problem of the Coronavirus, but as far as something that people could reach for and aspire to, that’s something that we could all do as a community.”
The curator says “At its core, the goal for the show is not only to explore the influence art has on a community but to prove that its impact is important. It started as an online project and that was all that we intended at first, to create a space where people could find peace for a while. But after the incredible participation from people all over, we knew there was much more going on. The artists shown here are proof that art has a place in any conversation.”
A Drawing A Day features work by Sue Havens, Brent Holmes, Georgina Lewis, Daniel Magaña, Jeff Musser, Beverly Neas, Glenn Nowak, Kate Parnell, Christel Polkowski, Heidi Rider, Marianne Snow, Stephanie Sumler, and ten students from Pat Diskin Elementary School. A complete list of the artists who participated in A Drawing A Day Keeps The Pandemic Away, along with images of their artworks, can be found in the Museum’s online catalogs for the project.