“Art in Isolation” opens Saturday, September 12 at ART123 Gallery. Organized by local artist Christian Bigwater and featuring new work created by seven artists since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the show is a chance to pause, take stock, and reflect on the current moment.

In many ways the coronavirus pandemic has been a collective undertaking as all of our lives have been largely turned upside down and we have had to adjust to an alternative reality. In other ways, the effects of the pandemic have not been universal as it has taken a physical, social, emotional and economic toll on communities, families, and individuals, in different ways and to different extents. Artists are uniquely adept at processing the human experience as it exists on both the macro and micro levels, and the artists included in the “Art in Isolation” show have done exactly that with regard to our new normal.

Some “Art in Isolation” artists explore the emotional side of the pandemic. Antoinette Thompson is sharing a piece that, in her words, “pulls together the anger, confusion, strength, losses, and gains of this jolt in our lives.” Tasha N. creates a display of personal work—work she mostly made just for herself as a means of coping through this time.

Other artists explore the physical environment the pandemic has created. Ashton Phillips recorded the sights and sounds of Los Angeles at the height of the stay-at-home order, documenting a strange space and time. Nate Nez presents a series of work made during the Navajo Nation weekend lockdowns, reflecting on the meaning of land and home at a time when strict curfews and boundaries have been enforced.

Two artists send a message with their work. Christian Bigwater created a powerful piece which has been used as a flier and poster encouraging people to focus on the wellbeing of their elders and their community. Karl Jim’s painting “Love and Protection” speaks to the motives behind mask-wearing.

“Art in Isolation” runs through October 3. A Virtual Show Opening will be held live on the @gallupARTS Facebook page on Saturday, September 12 at 3pm. ART123 Gallery is open by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 – 4pm. More information can be found at www.galluparts.org/art123gallery.