Engaging Creatives: Art in the Pandemic

Hosted through the Royal Society of Canada
Curated by: Sean Caufeild
Written by: Ashley Hemmings

Since the start of the pandemic, the Royal Society of Canada has created a Working Group on Artistic Responses to COVID-19. The Working Group has developed a website to exhibit and archive creative research made in response to the pandemic in a variety of media. The online exhibition, titled Engaging Creatives: Art in the Pandemic, had a virtual opening reception on March 5th, with presentations by several the exhibiting artists, and members of the Working Group.


Julia Wright and Sean Caulfield started off the event by speaking to the creation of the exhibition as a space to process, reflect, and articulate our experiences during this time, and the importance of artistic research to translate intangible feelings into things that we can share and discuss. There were artist presentations by Ilene Sova who spoke about her Pandemic themed undergraduate studio class at OCAD, as well as presentation by three of her students; Christina Haldane who spoke about her classical music project; and Johanna Householder who spoke about her collaborative video/performance works made over Zoom. After the presentations, other exhibiting artists joined in the conversation, and the group spoke about how different demographics of people are being affected by the pandemic, how art practices will change post-pandemic, and the ability for creative practices to act as practices of care.

The online exhibition Engaging Creatives: Art in the Pandemic can be viewed here:

INCUBATOR Art Lab director Dr. Jennifer Willet’s contribution to the exhibition can be viewed here:
Jennifer Willet -The COVID Suit
Special thanks to IOTA Institute for commissioning the COVID SUIT PROJECT

As well, University of Windsor professor Nadja Pelkey’s work can be viewed here:
Nadja Pelkey - Shared Air

Image Credit:
1)Poster of the Engaging Creatives: Art in the Pandemic event.Artwork on poster by: Ruth Cuthland, SURVIVING: COVID-19 No.04, RCH56. Photo Credit: The Gallery/ Art Placement Inc. Saskatoon, Sk. 2) Ashley Hemmings, Screenshot of the Engaging Creatives: Art in the Pandemic event, 2021.