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Why art matters during a pandemic
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Scott DW Smith/Imagesmith Photo

DURANGO — Art cannot cure COVID-19, but artists in Durango have shown it can mitigate some of the fallout. A pop-up art exhibit and its unexpected offerings was designed to give fresh life to the town.

In the fall of 2020, the southwest Colorado creative community sent out an open call for artists to compete to have their work on public display in Durango.

The winners, eight of whom spoke to Colorado Voices, had their art curated into a pop-up exhibit. The contributors became known as The Durango Art Brigade, a community cavalry of sorts that came to the rescue of a covid-worn town.

Colorado Voices

Why art matters during a pandemic

Rating: TV-PG

Art cannot cure COVID-19, but artists in Durango have shown it can help with the fallout.

The artwork that was chosen ranges from quaint to surreal: timely cartoons and timeless landscapes; a broken guitar transformed into both a firefly and a statement about getting through tough times; quilts to honor the privilege of voting.

While these particular pieces of art have popped out of their pop-up time, they also serve as the inspiration for next year’s Durango Art Brigade, assuming funding is secured. The first-ever Durango Art Brigade was supported by a partnership of Historic Downtown Durango, Creative Economy Commission, Durango Creative District, Local First and the Dumpster Beautification Project.

Pop-up art is, by its nature, ephemeral. But that which was fleeting is also here to stay, at least on video and in the hearts of Durangoans.

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