April 23 Coronavius Update: Post-Pandemic Art Exhibit

The Bethel community came together to paint a panel of a glowing cube titled "Something Very Beautiful," an art exhibit by Bethel artist Josh Fisher.
Credit Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel Council on the Arts is planning a post-pandemic art show to exhibit objects, songs, poetry, and even food created during this time of hunkering down. 

Staying home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has given many people time to do things they love. For Bethel Council on the Arts President Josh Fisher, that means making art.

“I’ve been taking walks each day along BIA Road,” Fisher said. “And I’ve been taking a picture from the same place each day that I’m going to create a time lapse, hopefully, of the change of the season.”

He's also been practicing Bach on guitar, and experimenting with sourdough bread.

Reyne Athanas is the CEO of the Bethel Council on the Arts and Treasurer of the Kuskokwim Art Guild. She's been throwing pottery and painting silk scarves.

“I have to do it,” Athanas said. “I have to do something every day, something creative in some manner.”

Athanas is not the only one.

“I know that there are some people doing a lot of quilting, and I know that Moses Tulim has been working on some masks," Athanas said. "I’ve seen him outside of his house working on them. And John Oscar has also told me that, and I know there are some people doing other beading, and sewing, and drawings, paintings. Those are all the kind of things we want to try to showcase in this community art show.”

The show will also include poetry, stories, and food, as cooks use the time to perfect, explore, and create cuisine. The plan is to hold a big potluck.

“We’re going to ask everyone to bring their favorite dish that they’ve made, or the thing they found the most comforting during this time, and have it there to share," Athanas said. "You know, our community is big on sharing.”

Details about when the post-pandemic art exhibition will open to the public at Bethel’s Cultural Center will have to wait until restrictions are lifted, but both organizers are excited about the possibilities for both the art and the food that could be shared during such a gathering.

“We just want people to take all of this time that they had to have, use it, make something beautiful, bring it in, and let’s get together and celebrate that we can get together,” Athanas said.

The work done during this time, regardless of who did it and why, will no doubt become part of the historic record of this pandemic, which has already transformed the human world.