Creative work during tumultuous times by Erik Benjamins
Updated: Jul 2
What does it mean to use a creative voice in the time of Covid? Artists, near and far, continue to remind us of the power of creative expression during tumultuous times. Whether outrightly political, or elusively poetic, I’m constantly inspired by visual art’s capability to provide restorative power.
Such was particularly the case with this year’s recipients of the Department of Cultural Affairs COLA Fellowship, a highly prestigious award that’s given to mid-career visual artists, graphic designers, literary artists, musicians, and performing artists. In preparation for the annual group exhibition held at the Municipal Gallery in Barnsdall Park, I was fortunate to work as a member of the show’s creative team, serving as copyeditor for the catalog. It was a pleasure to work intimately with the fourteen artists to learn how they each uniquely, and powerfully, represent Los Angeles as timely creative agents. With Covid striking in the months leading up to the exhibition, it was decided that the physical manifestation of the show would be replaced with a beautifully designed website, which is now live.
I encourage you to take a look and learn a bit more about how these artists, performers, poets and musicians are honoring a space for expression during a time when we desperately need it. If you'd like to read more about each artist and the exhibition at large, you can download a PDF of the entire catalog here.
– Erik Benjamins
Erik Benjamins is a writer and visual artist based in Los Angeles. He runs a writing studio, Avoiding the Bummerness, which works with entrepreneurs and businesses across various industries to best communicate their work into the world. Learn more about his writing work here.