CWE-based artists share what’s on their drawing boards during the pandemic

This is a first in a series of posts exploring how CWE-based artists are faring during the pandemic. I wondered if the coronavirus has altered their approach or influenced their work. While some say they have not experienced a difference (creating art is usually a solitary pursuit, for instance) others have incorporated imagery or titles into their art that speak to these difficult times.

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Nancy Newman Rice

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

“The pandemic has not changed the way I work, I am usually in my studio (on the 3rd floor of her CWE residence) 8 hrs a day. The imagery I typically use is based upon architectural imagery. But, as I look at the work I have produced since March, the architectural elements have disappeared as if destroyed by an external force leaving vague references to what once was or might have been.”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich
Covid Isolation I, above, oil on canvas on contra, 32″ x 32.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich  Rice’s Covid Isolation 3, above, oil on canvas on cintra, 32″ x 32.”

Judith Shaw

Clayton resident Judith Shaw steals away to her studio in the CWE when construction behind her condo gets to be too much. Shaw turned her frustration over the sprawling Centene corporate expansion project into what she calls fault lines, “tire track art,” a print and photographic series that was recently exhibited at the St. Louis Artist’s Guild.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

“Clearly Covid has stopped us all in our tracks”, Shaw said. “It has given us a chance to look at ourselves in a new way, to consider how we see things, how we do things, notice the other, learn from each other, and have empathy for others rather than anger towards them.”

“The Centene job site hummed (or should I say hammered and blasted) along during the shut down without interference from high volume car traffic…As a result, I had more interaction with the workers in what I called my “live, interactive studio.” Covid gave me the time and space to become more experimental with my process and collaborate more with the workers.”

“Some of the tire marks embed deeply, others barely skim the surface. We are all asked to consider today: what’s our imprint on earth?  How lightly do we tread?”

George Nikolajevich

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

Architect George Nikolajevich started painting 3 years ago, a year before he retired as Design Principal at Cannon Design.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich  Above, A Street in Sayulita

In an email Nikolajevich said: “I have always been interested in form and color. When I was practicing architecture, I would use pen and ink, and sometimes watercolor. But now I am painting in oils.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich  A Street in Quebec CityNicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich  Nikolajevich’s oil painting of Mahalia Jackson.

Milo Duke

“I’ve been working on several projects; one that I call ‘Plague Paintings’ is inspired by the figure of the medieval plague doctor, whose bizarre costume was actually supposed to protect them–the PPE of the day. I see us all as “plague doctors,” some of us just trying to survive, others busily “doctoring,” effectively or not. I’ve used the MAGA thing ironically or hopefully, the viewer can decide.”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich
Plague doctors sheltering in place and practicing social distancing, oil on panel, 16″ x 20.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

Plague doctors on Capitol Hill, oil on panel, 26″ x 26.”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

Wall Street plague doctors, oil on panel, 16″ x 20.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Nancy Newman Rice Milo Duke Judith Shaw George Nikolajevich

Plague doctors reopening, oil on panel, 24″ x 24.”

Contact Duke for more information, milotwduke@gmail.com

Next up: Artists and the pandemic, Part II

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