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Stuck At Home, Kansas City Artists Sew Cloth Masks, Eat Birthday Cake, Plant Gardens — And Continue To Create

Deanna Dikeman and her dog, Joey, pose for a self-portrait at her home in Columbia, Missouri.
Deanna Dikeman
Deanna Dikeman and her dog, Joey, pose for a self-portrait at her home in Columbia, Missouri.

Living through the coronavirus pandemic, artists are encouraged to document the challenges of the creative process in quarantine.

Businesses and schools are closed. Many of us are still working from home. And the future is uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So why not channel that frustration and uncertainty into art?

"We have collected so many great stories, each unique," said Haw Contemporary gallery associate Emily Eddins.

After the stay-at-home order began in March, the gallery closed its two locations in the Crossroads and the Stockyards, and encouraged the artists they represent to write down what they were experiencing.

"The gallery's attempt was to personalize and share the individual artists' perspectives during this time of isolation," said Eddins, who added that a new challenge often "forces us to become more creative."

Nearly 20 of these “Quarantine Diaries," from artists around the country, are posted on Instagram, including a few who recorded their diaries for KCUR:

Miki Baird
Baird lives in Overland Park, Kansas, but has a studio in Kansas City's West Bottoms. She creates "photographic assemblages," three-dimensional structures incorporating layered and repeated imagery.

Deanna Dikeman
Photographer Deanna Dikeman has documented thrift store clothing, spaces between houses, lost and found pets, as well as family members. Based in Columbia, Missouri, she plans a move to Kansas City when the stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Marcie Miller Gross
Gross, a Kansas City-based artist, creates sculptures crafted from materials ranging from industrial felt to cardboard to used hospital towels.

Lisa Grossman
Painter and printmaker Lisa Grossman lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Her work often focuses on the prairies and open spaces in the state, as well as the Kansas River Valley.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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