Banner Art detail: Mary Harvey, "Autumn Leaves in a Pandemic Collage"
I have been doing Violence Transformed since its beginnings in 2007, working with socially engaged artists, curators, academics, activists, health care providers, and museum professionals. I have loved every single second of the work and the journey, and have embraced and been embraced by so many dedicated others. Then, of course, the pandemic hit and we were faced not only with Covid but also with a long-needed confrontation with the other pandemics of racism, sexism, bigotry, hate and fear that together undermine so much of what we all long for. So, when the pandemic hit and lockdown became imperative, I turned —not away from Violence Transformed, which we somehow managed to continue through virtual exhibits, fabulous collaboration and all that comes with such collaboration— but a bit away from the clamor and complexity that I really needed to retreat from for awhile. So, I turned to ink and to a beloved booklet of Japanese paper in order find a bit of peace and tranquility within…and I also turned to a very dear friend who gave me a basket of falling leaves that blew about just outside her window, and to a group of artists working together on Zoom, led in our endeavor by a beloved teacher and artist Amy Wynne. I needed these two respites and found them both so comforting as we learned how to take Violence Transformed “virtual"… and I learned how to reach for a new kind of peace.