[Photo: Moab Arts Council]

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused far-reaching changes to the way society works, affecting how businesses run, people gather and how the economy functions. The Moab Arts Council is focusing on documenting how the pandemic has changed how local artists create and distribute their creations in Moab.

MAC board member Sascha Steinberg said the group’s Artist Spotlight will highlight one local artist a week until the end of the year and artists who have been creatively adjusting their process due to COVID-19 may contact the council at moabartscouncil@gmail.com.

Featured Artist: Samantha Zim

Samantha Zim was selected as this year’s artist for the National Park Community Artist Program at the Southeast Utah Group of parks, which includes Arches and Canyonlands national parks as well as Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. [See “The feel of a landscape,” Jan. 2, 2020 edition. -ed.] The program, which has hosted a different artist to interact with park visitors every year since 2009, usually requires artists to agree to 24 hours of face-to-face time with visitors each month and to host one event for the community during their residency.

Originally, Zim had planned to interact with visitors by letting them contribute to her sketchbook, adding their own words or images to express their experience in the park. With the onset of COVID-19, she quickly had to adjust her plans. Zim opened a P.O. Box and started the Postcard Project. Every other week, she posted a prompt on her Instagram account and the NPS website in order to engage visitors and lovers of the National Parks, even if they were stuck at home.

Now coming to the end of her residency, Zim has received over 200 postcards from around the world and responded to every single one. She said that she may display or publish the postcards in a book or a gallery show. Postcards are still welcome; see the prompts and the P.O. box address at www.nps.gov/arch/getinvolved/postcardproject.htm.

Art created during Zim’s residency may be purchased at Moab Made or online at www.shop.cnha.org/collections/community-artist. Keep up to date with the MAC Community Artist Spotlight at www.moabartscouncil.org

Moab Arts Council spotlights how local artists are dealing with pandemic