Creating Through a Season of Seclusion

A young queen of soul. Image courtesy of Edward E. Parker Museum of Art.

Navigating through the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge. The usual “more the merrier” sentiment has shifted drastically. Since arts programming is created for public consumption, it is difficult to limit the number of attendees, adjust operational norms, adhere to social-distancing requirements and provide a comparable experience while wearing personal protective gear.

September is the month we usually host our annual Collard Green Festival; it is followed by the Alternative Health Fair, in October. While initial reports from medical experts offered hope that warm weather might significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus, we have not been so lucky. As a result, we cancelled both events, because the number of attendees would have made following social-distancing requirements impossible.

In addition, the art exhibitions held at Mount Zion Congregational’s Shinn House and the Artist Speak forums have been placed on hold. When it becomes safe to hold larger gatherings, we will resume the shows. To fill the void created by suspending the exhibitions, we will implement a virtual artist showcase, including biographies, artist statements, selected works and links to individual social media pages.

On a more positive note, EEPMOA arts programming with limited class sizes has not been affected by the pandemic. We recently completed “It’s a Family Affair”—a reprise of last year’s Intergenerational Art Class, which ended with a community exhibition. We also hosted a “Create your own comic book” class, which provided step-by-step instruction to students from Strengthening Our Students, (S.O.S.).

As always, the museum offers free art classes for seniors every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Lately, students have been sculpting with clay and earthenware; however all mediums are encouraged. Participants are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Finally, Edward Parker has completed new works that are available for viewing, including a mural celebrating the life of the late Kobe Bryant. The museum is currently open Monday through Friday, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. For visitation outside of normal business hours, please call for an appointment. Stop in for a visit, and remember, think “Art for social development!”


13240 Euclid Avenue

East Cleveland, Ohio 44112