“Where Do We Go From Here?” by Jane Zamost.

Artists responded to U.S. 1’s invitation to share visual thoughts, feelings, and discoveries during our current health crisis.

This week Pennington artist Jane Zamost notes the following:

I feel fortunate — aside from having shelter and food which are the obvious gifts of life — being a creative makes me explore the here and now. I seldom, if ever, get bored. There are just too many projects in my head to experience such a feeling. So, during the quarantine, I have gone through many phases. My first inclination was to create artwork of hope — some pieces frivolous working with new materials; others simply ethereal advocating resilience and more abstract than emblematic in design.

Then fear set in … concerns about the safety of my physician husband, 91-year-old mother, and adult children. My anxiety pushed me to explore more serious art forms, exposing my worry and expelling my pent-up emotion to canvas and board.

George Floyd was then killed and the great tragedy of our country emerged to the forefront. The stories of black lives engulfed my family and me; outrage and sadness has darkened this period of the quarantine significantly.

As a 62-year-old white woman, I recognize that my feelings are simply that — feelings. I can only imagine the level of my parental distress if my color were different than it is. As an artist, I fluctuate between the need to create beautiful images of optimism and strength stemming from my times in the hospital (serving as Healing Arts Program coordinator at Capital Health) and artwork of outcry bringing the need for social change to the forefront — both callings seeming so necessary to our community and world at large.

All of the above is about my studio time during quarantine. From the vantage point of healing art instructor, I started connecting largely with children at first, holding Zoom workshops with my great nieces and nephews so I could deliciously connect while giving my adult nieces a respite from their harried days showing them and their children the restorative impact of making art.

My Zoom programs grew to include workshops with Hope Loves Company, a local organization based in Pennington, whose mission is to provide emotional and educational support to children and young adults who have or have had a loved one battling ALS. I’m now hoping to add my “Nourishing the Soul” workshops to my ZOOM repertoire working with teenagers and adults so that I can continue spreading the magic of making art.

Submit artwork to dan@princetoninfo.com.

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