Ann Arbor Pandemic Heroes Art On Display

How 2020 brought the best from Ann Arbor Business Women

Two years ago when we were all scrambling to figure out how to respond to the pandemic invading our community. Several Ann Arbor Business women stepped forward to aid those in need. Here I will just highlight four who touched our lives. Their story was featured here in the Current. The Article is written by young colleague Arkadia Pereklita.

Irene Mokra and I were inspired by these exceptional people coming forward in unprecedented times. We decided to spotlight them through our art, creating visual narratives in Clay and Drawings. Our hope was to organize a small exhibit in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a venue. Since then I was able to get three of my pieces shown at the Gutman Gallery.

Irene Mokra’s Portraits are on the left my Ceramic Sculptures are on the right.

The first was an homage to Lisa McDonald of the TeaHaus. Lisa began making free meals, initially for school lunches then expanded to working with the Delonis Center and other organizations. Work she continues today.

Next was Lilian Anderson of Sprouting Chefs. She ended up temporarily closing her cooking school in March 2020, and began cooking for Community Action Network (CAN). She did this for nine weeks, then was able to re-open her cooking classes for children at Sprouting Chefs. In addition she continued to teach classes at CAN.

Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers of Pilars Tamales. Sylvia is no stranger to humanitarian causes. Pilar’s Foundation has been working with other community organizations to support immigrants and refugees since before the pandemic. When the pandemic began she partnered with Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) to fundraise for local undocumented families affected by Covid-19.

Suzanne Price was the director of Sunshine Special Children’s studio for 35 years. When the pandemic came she decided to remain open. This became a critical life line for both children and parents. Adjustments were made, they only operated at 50% capacity. When weather permitted much of the class time was spent outside. They were also able to utilize grant money to add a new air filtration system. Suzanne has since retired, however, contribution to the community lives on in these children.

These two pieces titled “Full of Grace” and “Sprouting Chefs” are currently on display at the Gutman Gallery 118 N, Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

I know there are more people in our community these are just four who touched our lives. Please consider these businesses and others contributing to make life better for others. Our economic choices can make a difference.

About Babs

I'm a narrative sculptor navigating her way through the ever-changing currents in what feels like an art ocean. Whether appreciating the calm rhythm of calls for art and exhibiting, or waiting to catch a big wave of inspiration to take me to the top. I just love being in the water. Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover I've always been an artist. My work grows from a strong connection to people and a passion for discovering the beauty in ordinary things. I sculpt figuratively in clay, utilizing the female form and women’s themes. Frequently my inspiration is drawn from childhood memories and my own short poems. Like each of us as humans every work is uniquely influenced by the past and present and has a narrative.
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2 Responses to Ann Arbor Pandemic Heroes Art On Display

  1. Sister Therese Carson says:

    Congratulations, Barb! I know that those caring for Covid patients have earned our eternal thanks, but it appears the story of how we rose to the challenge is broader. Thank you for what you have done to recognize their thoughtful response to the pandemic. Lights shining in the darkness!.

    Blessings and peace,

    *Sister Therese Carson*

    *”When I find myself rendered distraught by the world around me, as I imagine Mary must have been, I remind myself that God works in and through chaos.” ~Valerie Bridgeman, “Building the Commonwealth of God,” (2020)”What is really happening in the house of prayer is not measurable in terms of human success and failure.”*

    *~Henri Nouwen*

    *”The Gospel takes away our right forever to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”* *~ Servant of God Dorothy Day *

    On Sun, Jan 30, 2022 at 9:30 AM Barbara Melnik Carson wrote:

    > Babs posted: ” How 2020 brought the best from Ann Arbor Business Women Two > years ago when we were all scrambling to figure out how to respond to the > pandemic invading our community. Several Ann Arbor Business women stepped > forward to aid those in need. Here I will j” >

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