West Michigan artists unite during pandemic

Kent County

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of artists from West Michigan got together virtually during the pandemic to critique each other’s work and motivate one another. They’re now planning an exhibit to share their project with the community.

Some of the women had never met before the pandemic, but now credit part of getting through it to their connections with one another.

“I thought just an opportunity to connect with other human beings when everything was so crazy,” said artist Barbara Schilling.

The 8 West Michigan artists used their time to connect and seek a “Silver Lining” during the pandemic, which is the theme of their exhibit.

“In the process, it was like, we all started to form these really great friendships,” said Schilling.

“It really kept us working, even when we didn’t feel like it,” said artist Elaine Dalcher. “We were experiencing a hardship as all of us were and we found a way to channel the hardship in a way that actually helped us.”

The women met weekly through Zoom and shared styles, techniques, and motivated each other to continue pushing forward.

“It was just so interesting from one week to the next to see what everybody else was going to bring to the table and interesting and inspirational,” said Schilling.

They say they found a sense of community in the midst of isolation.

“The friendships that have developed through this whole group are friendships that will last for a lifetime,” said Schilling.

The Silver Lining Exhibition will take place between April 9 and May 30 at Frames Unlimited Gallery in Kentwood.

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