Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
During quarantine, the amount of digitally available content for our learning and entertainment has skyrocketed. That is even more true for the visual arts. We can’t go to the art, but now—from a distance and through a digital screen—the art can come to us.
Zenith Gallery sees art as a source of hope. Art uplifts and gives us the “sense that there are people in this world that make much out of little,” says Zenith Gallery owner Margery Goldberg.
The novel coronavirus pandemic cut into the run of Zenith Gallery’s current exhibition Carved in Stone, Painted with Light. But you can still digitally experience the works featured in the exhibitionon Artsy’s virtual gallery. It focuses on two painters and one sculptor. Painter Carolyn Goodridge brings an earthy abstraction to her tangible mixed media paintings while the other painter, Hubert Jackson, brings a jovial and saturated touch to his figurative works. Sculptor David Therriault showcases stone structures that feel both modern and reminiscent of ancient symbols.
Goodridge’s paintings, encaustic on glass in most cases, feel culled from the sea, like geological gems in bright aqua tints contrasted against muted tans and browns. Her compositions are organized more by where colors collide than where clear contours are drawn. Therriault’s works are similarly centered around form. Using reclaimed stones as his base, he creates pieces that do not attempt to transcend beyond that which they are: natural material. One piece in particular, “Twist,”is a celebration of shape. A large seemingly untouched stone anchors the piece on its left base while a smoother version of stone curves out of that base bending up and over to create a self-standing arch. The piece is weighted to the left in terms of mass, yet aesthetically it maintains a near perfect balance.
Hubert Jackson’s work sings, snapping the viewer into a kind of vibrant walk down the memory lane of what feels like the good old days of D.C. Choirs, bright red dresses, instruments, and even an inscribed heart, accent Jackson’s figurative scenes of African American groups and individuals. Jackson uses a thick application of paint to communicate a sense of vivid closeness to enriched humanity, from unsung piano performers to mathematicians at NASA.
There are plenty Zenith shows available on Artsy to enjoy, some dating back to 2018.
But online galleries aren’t the only way to connect people with art. Newsletters can be an art unto themselves, and Zenith Gallery is using them as a platform for finding hope and art during the pandemic.
One newsletter in March celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with green art selections and inspiring words: “Artists by nature are empathic and feel not only their own pain but others and can express it. We are more fortunate in some ways than other disciplines in the art world. We can survive and do our art without an audience. The art we make today will be viable for centuries if not millenniums.”
A Mother’s Day focused newsletter featured art that centers the mother as a figure. And just this past Saturday, Zenith sent out a spring cleaning-inspired newsletter showcasing the work of artist Jennifer Wagner, who has brightened up areas both indoors and outdoors. “She can design new windows … and cover up concrete steps and walls that look worn and tired,” the newsletter read. “Creativity is an incredible antidote to anxiety.”
At Zenith, an exhibition of artwork more explicitly showcasing artist interpretations of the experience of COVID-19 will be in the pipeline. “We wanted to think about what people might desire when the pandemic concludes,” Goldberg says. But more immediately we can expect something lighthearted and focused on the fun of life, featuring artists Jan Kirsh, Barbara Kobylinska, and Cindy Winnick.
You can sign up to get the Zenith Gallery newsletter sent to your inbox here: firstname.lastname@example.org.