Silver Linings: San Antonio’s arts community weighs in on the positive side effects of quarantine

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click to enlarge COURTESY OF VICTORIA SUESCUM
Courtesy of Victoria Suescum
Victoria Suescum, artist and educator
2020 gave me the gift of time. In the future I want to stay at home a lot more. Positive changes took place abruptly: remote work eliminated a gruesome commute.

Many activities moved online and made opportunities available that in person would have been impossible. I have been interviewed in Panama twice (Creative Mornings and Personal Upgrade Academy). I was invited to lead Latina high school students in a project called Brilla based in Connecticut. I talked about the show of my work at the McNay Art Museum to the Rochester Wellesley Club.

I think I am less nervous talking to strangers online than in person. I love being in the safety of my studio. The ease of engaging with people online led to wonderful meetups with vibrant people new to me: yourself, Christina Frasier (an anthropologist who uses vernacular painting in her study of gentrification), Dr. Orlando Hernandez Ying (Houston-based curator from Panama), Lucia Abramovich (Associate Curator of Latin American Art at SAMA), Omar Gallaga (contributing writer to Texas Highways and Pulse), Veronica Buruyides (Director, Creative Mornings-Panama), Juan David Guardia (Director, Personal Upgrade Academy) and Ana Teresa Moreno (Director, Mateo Sariel Gallery, Panama).

Adapting:
There was no in-person opening to the exhibit of my work at the McNay, but Lucia Abramovich, Lyle Williams and I participated on a joint panel to celebrate the re-opening of the Popular Art Galleries at SAMA and my show at the McNay.

Instead of hosting a talk with Lyle Williams, Curator of Collections, the McNay produced a strong five-minute video about my work which will outlast the exhibit. I wasn’t able to go to exhibits, instead I cultivated my Instagram and Facebook presence which reaches a wider audience.

It was a huge struggle to teach three studio courses online but for every con there is a pro. I was surprised by the strength of the bonds that emerged among my students and myself.
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