A screenshot from the DC Teacher Art Show.

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The DC Teacher Art Show: Distance Learning

Plenty of artists have used pain as inspiration for their work—think Pablo Picasso‘s Blue Period, for example. And 2020 provided plenty of fodder for pain-based work. But a new show fuses pain with joy by letting teachers reflect on the hardships of the last year and how they stayed connected with the communities and children that they serve. Made possible by a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities grant, the DC Teacher Art Show Distance Learning seeks to share some of their works. Curator Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell gathered pieces from 21 art teachers in the D.C. area that explore isolation and mental health during the pandemic and social unrest of the past year. The online gallery includes portraiture, sculpture, print, digital and abstract art, and spoken word pieces. Some of the artists featured have an established presence, like Reshada Pullen-Jireh, whose painting of three laughing children, “Hey Sis,” headlines the exhibit. “I choose to paint Black people living their everyday lives as an urgent need to tell the stories of our humanity,” she writes on her website. For other teacher-artists, this is their first exhibit. The work can be seen in a 3D virtual walkthrough or as a carousel of images that portray everything from somber vigils to childhood joy. The exhibition is available at dcteacherartshow.com through March 16. Free.