To document this historic era of COVID-19 and movements for racial and environmental justice, a new virtual archive of pandemic-related images and stories by artists, curators and arts organizations throughout the Virgin Islands highlights a defining moment in U.S. Virgin Islands and global history.
With the online archive, curator and arts advocate Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight seeks to support artists in archiving, preserving, and making accessible – virtually, to the public — U.S. Virgin Islands visual and literary artistic responses to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Throughout the centuries, artists have created their works as a tool for healing, education, compassion, hope and solidarity during crises. Now, a current generation of artists is spreading compassion and healing through painting, performance, sculpture, textiles, drawings, design, spoken word and poetry.
According to Hintz Rivera Knight, documentation of our arts is essential so that future generations can learn from and experience current events through our community’s artistic accounts of an unprecedented and historic time.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the first quarantine shut down in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I want to ensure that we capture and properly archive the artistic achievements produced by Virgin Islands artists during this historic moment. Throughout the world, artists have been inspiring us, entertaining us, provoking us, challenging us and sustaining us during these most challenging times,” said Knight in a statement.
The archive, funded in part by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, is being created in collaboration with the Gri Gri Project. It will consist of COVID-19 news accounts related to the arts community in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It will also document visual works, poetry and spoken word by students, professional artists and writers working throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virgin Islanders living in the diaspora. In addition, it will document special projects or exhibitions by U.S. Virgin Islands arts organizations.
Works accepted for this juried project are those that are COVID-19 specific or inspired. Work will be considered that is relevant to the inequities that make this pandemic even more significant — in particular, work that addresses racial inequality and environmental injustice in the time of COVID-19. Artists, curators and writers at all career-stages residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands for at least two years or U.S. Virgin Islanders studying or living in the diaspora are encouraged to submit.
This site will be continuously updated during the ongoing pandemic and the call for artists submissions is ongoing. To view the archive or to submit an entry, visit www.usvicovid19arts.com.