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Quarantine Diaries: Families

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For as long as I can remember, my definition of “family” has primarily included individuals not blood-related, but bonded by love, shared experiences, and solidarity. Quarantine and social distancing are difficult for all of us, especially so for individuals such as myself. My upbringing was marked by death, abuse, and loss. I have never had a “traditional” “nuclear” family. Instead I have been blessed to name and define my family. Blood has never been thicker than water for me and for many others with nontraditional upbringings.

During COVID-19, my routine has included a lot of thinking about what my role should be in the lives of those I love the most, especially those I cannot physically hug or kiss. Despite the sadness, I also feel so much joy and love when I hear from my friends who are quarantining with their own families. They know about my aloneness, and they often check in with me. We Facetime, we Facebook message, we text, they send me pictures of what they’re cooking, we send memes, we talk about 90 Day Fiancé, I say hi to their wives and hello their husbands, I wave at their dogs, I blow kisses and throw peace signs, and we dream up plans for when we can see each other again. And all of their love keeps my alone-ness from being unceasingly lonely. Through screens I feel the presence of those that I love, and I am reminded that my presence in their lives is familial as well.

Family is about love and about seeking comfort across spaces, both physical and virtual. This edition of Quarantine Diaries speaks to these experiences, with James Williams II, Claudia Jolin, Adam Holofcener, Megan Isennock, and Bonnie Crawford. These creative individuals are quarantining with their respective families, marking hours with love and proximity, and hunkering down in their homes until we are able to safely join each other in the sun again.

 

There are days when I need a parent "time-out" and have to go in solitary such as my studio or even my car. I literally will sit in my car parked outside my house for some time to myself.
James Williams II

James Williams II, Artist, Curator, and Professor
IG: @jay_doublehand_forthe_w

Neighborhood: I live in the Arcadia neighborhood of Baltimore City near Morgan State University. The neighborhood is a quiet part of the city, almost suburbia-like. My wife Ty and I have two little girls: Indigo (6) and Zoelle (2).

What are the 3 emojis you are using most right now?
Face palm emoji, Kanye shrug emoji, and laughing with tears emoji

What object, things, or process have you fallen in love with at home during quarantine? How is this impacting your mood and productivity?
I’ve found myself geeking out on technology and been playing around with VR and 3D printing. I’ve been using both for a little over a year but now more than ever. I use VR to exercise, make art, and experience new spaces that I can’t otherwise visit since quarantine. Lately, I’ve used 3D printing to print face masks but I have plans to print some creations I made in VR. It’s a nice switch every now and then from painting.

How are you adjusting to parenthood during quarantine? How has this impacted your art practice and thinking as an artist?
Back when I was working full-time and commuting to DC from Baltimore I only saw my family for 30 minutes a day in the morning before they went to work, school, or daycare. It was hard for me as a husband and parent to not participate in their everyday lives. I have learned a lot from that experience and I appreciate spending time with my family in quarantine. Don’t get me wrong though—it’s not always fun. There are days when I need a parent “time-out” and have to go in solitary such as my studio or even my car. I literally will sit in my car parked outside my house for some time to myself.

How has your living space changed to accommodate you during this time?
Our living space has changed more to accommodate our girls. Every inch of the room, there are toys and activities. We even put a small trampoline in one of our bedrooms so that they can be active on the days when it’s rainy or just cold. It’s hard for me because I like to have things organized and clean. So my wife and I are learning to navigate through Legos on the floor and “forts” our daughters made in the living room. Our girls are teaching us to just chill out and have fun.

What are you making?
I’ve been using Skill Share over the last month, (re)learning CAD programs and pixel art. Since last month I’ve been getting back into my “normal” studio practice regularly and making paintings for “future” exhibitions but I find myself wanting to experiment more with things that no one will see but myself. I feel like I’m going through a tunnel of weird/interesting and that’s been exciting.

How are you supporting local and creative businesses, makers, and/or healthcare workers in Baltimore?
In early April, I was dealing with quarantine depression and was having trouble keeping up with my art practice. I began to wonder if I was the only one having trouble continuing their practice. So I created this IG Live project called “Studio Time.” The purpose is to encourage our art community and motivate studio practice via IG Live during the pandemic.

Every Friday, starting at 9 p.m., I meet up with two or three different artists, performers, or creatives to make art in our personal spaces while having a conversation with each other and with those who join in. There is about 40+ people who will be participating over the course of three months and around 100+ people joining in every Friday on IG Live. It’s been rewarding to connect with so many people during a time when we are social distancing. For more details on the next “Studio Time” visit my IG page.

 

 

When Hogan announced the stay-at-home order, my household made a quick decision to move the polycule (people linked through their relationships to one or more members of a polyamorous group) into my house until the order was lifted.
Claudia Jolin

Claudia Jolin, Vice President of Economic Development, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
Web: claudiajolin.wixsite.com/mysite
IG: @claudainbaltimore

Neighborhood: I live in Better Waverly, in a yellow house right next to Giant. When we first moved in, I was so worried about moving in next to a grocery store, but let me tell you, boy has it worked out for me.

What are the three emojis you are using most right now?
Super cry face emoji, watermelon emoji, and the honeypot emoji

What object, thing, or process have you fallen in love with at home during quarantine? How is this impacting your mood and productivity?
I needed to escape my life for just a little bit, so I bought an Oculus VR gaming system. I am now totally in love with it. When I was a kid, my father watched tons of Star Trek. I vaguely remember an episode where people in the ship were getting addiction treatment for spending too much time on the Holodeck. I now can see why. Escaping into a different world and playing very interactive games has helped me gain control of my breathing. I feel my anxiety levels come down when I play. I lose myself in there, and that can often be exactly what I need right now. As for productivity—what does that even mean anymore? Does it matter? My existential nihilism is creeping out of me slowly with a smile.

What do you look forward to most every day under quarantine?
I have two standard poodles that I rescued in 2019. I have always been a poodle person since I was a child. Everyday, I look forward to our long walks around Lake Montebello, where I let them off leash and they run into the woods with their tails bouncing. I have found that I love walking in the rain, since no one else is around. There is peace in knowing that I’m simply miserable and wet, but there isn’t anything I can do about it. Letting go and enjoying my pups running in the rain has been such a joy.

What has been most difficult for you to adjust to?
When Hogan announced the stay-at-home order, my household made a quick decision to move the polycule (people linked through their relationships to one or more members of a polyamorous group) into my house until the order was lifted. I am ethically non-monogamous. I am quarantined with my partners Greg and Patrick and with Patrick’s other partner Alyson, my metamour (one’s partner’s partner, with whom one is not directly involved), and my former-partner now roommate, Stephen. We locked down with the five of us here—without visiting or seeing other people—for the foreseeable future. That includes not spending much time with my daughter and completely changing her schedule.

The mixed emotions of having to share space with a metamour and two partners, guilt in not seeing my daughter and not feeling like a great parent, and the pressure to produce in my job, have pushed me to grow and accept the situation as is, and deal with what is in my control. I had to learn to trust that I was doing the best thing for society, my daughter, and my group. Trusting myself didn’t come easy and it put a big spotlight on my insecurities as a mother, a partner, and a professional.

I have learned that crying is totally okay, and to ask for space when I need it. I have learned that loving others and kindness are a lot easier than being a bitch. Polyamory has a way of shining a bright light on all of my insecurities and trauma—pushing me toward potential growth. Quarantine made that light more intense, and accelerated that growth. Growing quickly hurts a lot, but in the end, it’s been worth it to rip that bandaid off. If I’ve learned anything during this time, it’s that we’re so completely mortal.

What do you look forward to most after quarantine is over?
Besides seeing my child and my girlfriend? My baby girl is finally old enough to appreciate travel. Next week, we were supposed to go to Paris and London to visit my partner’s family and her grandparents, respectively. Like Christmas morning, there is no greater joy than experiencing the world through a little human you’ve created. I want that again.

I feel like those are the answers I’m supposed to be giving, but honestly I am most looking forward to the simple things. I want to go tubing in the Shenandoah, visit Black Ankle Vineyard, eat kettle corn while watching a silly Marvel movie at the movies, have a glass of Frappato at Cosima or a gin old fashioned at Dutch Courage. I want to put on pretty shoes and be outside with people I don’t know and laugh again.

Have you taken up any new hobbies?
My partner Greg and I have been doing photo shoots for years. We’ve continued this during quarantine and it’s been a total blast. A completely new hobby I started was that I allowed my 15-year-old emo self to cry out lyrics for a woman I fell desperately for, even though it ended so abruptly. Greg is writing the melody. A song written in quarantine! How basic of me.

I have also rediscovered my intense love for cooking and have been making most of the meals for the five of us. I have most enjoyed making any Asian fusion dishes—banh mi tacos, kimchi deviled eggs, spicy Korean pork on cauliflower steaks—I just keep making it up!

 

 

I don’t feel like it’s actually possible to adjust to parenthood under quarantine, at least not with a three-year-old. It’s like being stuck on a cliff with merely a toehold keeping you from the abyss.
Adam Holofcener

Adam G Holofcener, Esq., Jammer of Jams, Executive Director at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Dadman
Web: adamgholofcener.com
IG: @adamreadwrite

Neighborhood: I live in the Lake Evesham neighborhood of Baltimore City. Our neighborhood is an old-school cityburb hamlet where free-range parenting is the norm. I’m quarantining with my wife, and fellow member of the bar, Margot Kniffin, our three-year-old gremlin, Wallace, and Hirsch the dog (she is a morose type).

What are the 3 emojis you are using most right now?
My top three emojis have been (pre and during COVID): Thumbs up, two hands up praisin’, and fire.

What object, things, or process have you fallen in love with at home during quarantine? How is this impacting your mood and productivity?
I have fallen in love with our home office. For me, it was kind of like the backseat of your own car: You never sit in it cause you’re always in the driver’s seat. I would never use our home office because I primarily work at MdVLA’s office at the Motor House, and when I worked at home pre-COVID I would usually sit on the couch or at the dining room table. Our home office is simple and elegant, has a comfy bed and a really great view from the window. I like working from this room. Also, my new Tie-Dye Mania Crocs are the bomb.

Where are you getting the most satisfying news, information, or entertainment? How would you define news that is satisfying?
Most satisfying news, info, entertainment, in no particular order: ESPN when The Last Dance is on, QuaranTV, the Torah, the Criterion Channel, my good bud Brandon Soderberg’s Twitter (@notrivia), the IRL New York Times on Sunday, Eric Allen Hatch’s Patreon posts, daily video updates on ThrasherMagazine.com, all the books/records I’ve bought from all the stores/bands/writers that need extra love.

I’ve heard no satisfying news from traditional sources (I don’t read the NYT on Sundays to learn any news). While I don’t believe in an “objective” News anyway, during this particular crisis (where no one is outside of the perimeter of destabilization) that particular fallacy has been driven to comic proportions. Most of the “information” put out by anyone right now is merely refracted trauma, fear, and anxiety (or some wild mix of all three).

These publications of “information” act as individual attempts of processing more than any actual stab at communication. I’m fine with this. It’s only natural. I wish that anyone would admit it. Because of this, I’ve been looking for satisfaction in material that makes me feel like I’m working toward finding solid ground (I’m spinning through my own quasi-rational, anxiety piqued fever pitch of a “fine” at any given moment). Therefore, the media mentioned above are a few of my favorite things.

How are you adjusting to parenthood during quarantine?
I don’t feel like it’s actually possible to adjust to parenthood under quarantine, at least not with a three-year-old. It’s like being stuck on a cliff with merely a toehold keeping you from the abyss. My wife and I both work very intense jobs. There is a reason our kid went to 9.5 hours of pre-school a day, pre-COVID. From the minute we wake up, someone starts working and the other watches Wally. He is active enough to need constant stimulation and supervision, without which he would raze all personal and real property to which he gains proximity.

We switch off parent duty every 3-4 hours until it’s dinner time (Wally stopped napping just as COVID set in; thanks, dude). Then we are in dinner/bath/cleanup mode until Wally goes to bed (fingers crossed!), after which is generally either more work or non-volitional slumber. Occasionally, there is some studio (aka basement) time in the nighttime quadrant.

How has this impacted your art practice and thinking as an artist?
My arts practice, even pre-COVID, is always on my mind. No matter what I’m doing, I have some subconscious algorithms churning away at something. It is why I keep a notebook in my back pocket at all times because there are always some words/ideas/lyrics that need to be jotted down for further inspection/development later on. I’m fairly prolific, in terms of generating content (most of my art work is done in editing (I’m just saying, some people like/are good at editing)). Pre-COVID, I had developed some mental health issues related to panic/anxiety that required me to stop doing the too many things I was doing and really slow down. 

Now that COVID has created emotional/physical demands that exacerbate my panic/anxiety disorder, I have to be even more intentional with my arts practice than ever before. I have found that this is not a bad thing (just as I found that slowing down, prioritizing, and doing less (in all departments, including art making) wasn’t a bad thing pre-COVID. Really, the less that I do, the more that I think, the more that I think the more that I edit existing/new work without it feeling like editing. It gives more room for play and experimentation.

This intentionality has led to intense focus on particular points where I manifest the exhibition/performance of my work. For example, since COVID began, I have decided to work on old/new material primarily for release on Bandcamp fee waiver days. I generally do not have to worry about exhibiting/ performing/ releasing any work on any other day. I don’t use social media except for on this one day each month to promote my work that is available on that day. (I am sort of breaking this practice this week for a day (5/24) that I am helping to curate/produce on QuaranTV that will include a performance by my band GOLDMANSACKSDOTCOM, but, you know, exception, not rule (do as I say not as I do (help me))).

What are you making?
1) Writing lyrics/words/ideas into the small black notebook that I keep in my back pocket at whatever time of day that said lyrics/words/ideas strike me (I’m a vessel!),
2) Some formalish time in my studio (basement) to tinker with some guitar compositions/loop stuff as well as developing a new instrumentation for my role in the trio GOLDMANSACKDOTCOM,
3) Fleshing out song ideas in front of Wally because sometimes he is into that,
4) Conducting a bi-monthly COVID-friendly band practice with an old trio of mine (called Pop Death) in an empty warehouse in Lansdowne where we workshop new songs of mine while sipping chablis,
5) Preparing material for online performances (like the one I mentioned above set to take place on QuaranTV
on Sunday, May 24 at 9:30 p.m.!), and
6) Coordinating the release of new material on monthly Bandcamp fee waiver days (this includes some live IG performances on those days to help promote). 

Given the above, my arts practice hasn’t really shifted that much. I want to get into scoring films but COVID hasn’t helped me with that. I almost started recording commercially viable (and gatekeeper suggested) disaster capitalism deluxe cover songs to be placed in advertisements, but it hasn’t come together.

What kind of support do you/ your business need? How can people support what you do?
As an artist, you can support me by buying my recent records, GOLDMANSACKSDOTCOM’s The Caming Economic Collapse and Adam G Holofcener’s Everything’s Ostensible, on the next Bandcamp fee waiver day, June 5, 2020. You can also tune into QuaranTV on Sunday, March 24 at 7 p.m. for an evening of music that will feature GOLDMANSACKSDOTCOM, Butch Dawson, and others.

How are you supporting local and creative businesses, makers, and/or healthcare workers in Baltimore? If you have a favorite org or charity you recommend supporting, please list.
The work that we do at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is supporting artists and arts organizations with COVID and non-COVID related legal services. Since this crisis began, our numbers are up and people need help. MdVLA recently released its COVID-19 Resource Guide for Artists and Arts Organizations. Please spread the word to artists who have any issues related to contracts, commercial leases, business entities, intellectual property, or any other arts related legal issue that they can easily apply for help through MdVLA on our website. If you are able and feel so motivated, you can donate to MdVLA here.

 

 

Something I’ve always suspected is that I am not programmed to be an amazing stay-at-home parent.
Megan Isennock

Megan Isennock, Freelance Writer and Founder of Wayfinder Baltimore
Web: Wayfinder Baltimore
IG: @meganisennock

Neighborhood: I live in Mount Vernon with my husband Rob and our two kids, Lou and Edie. They are four and two years old, which means helping with their schoolwork is easy, but nothing else is. Our house has a former retail space on the first floor and a roof deck up top, so while it’s been hard to be mostly stuck in one spot, we’re fortunate that there’s space for the kids to run or get a little sunshine. We love Mount Vernon and have lived here for nearly 15 years, so it’s been rough to see places that are a big part of our life (including City Cafe and our kid’s school) close for good. We’re nervous to see what our neighborhood will look like at the end of this—but hopeful something new and wonderful will emerge.

What three emojis are you using most right now?
The exploding head, the gal throwing up confusion palms, and—tied for third—the eyeroll face and floating thumbs up because sometimes I CANNOT offer more in my textual exchanges than exasperated or affirmative digital emotions.

How are you feeling?
My mood has been deeply affected by nearly 70 days tucked away in our house. My kids and I are all pretty extroverted, and I feel little tugs of depression toward the end of each day after realizing the sun is about to set again on any potential human interaction. Extroverts are energy vampires, and we are feeling depleted. 

I’m also feeling bummed because I started a company last year, and signed my first client on March 13, the day the shutdown was announced. My company helps businesses recruit candidates to Baltimore (they sell them on the job, I sell them on moving to the city through super-curated tours and social connections) and if you can believe it, now is NOT a great time to be in recruiting.

No one knows what the employment market will look like whenever this ends, and Baltimore will likely be an unfamiliar landscape to me as retailers and companies rethink their missions and rebuild. So for now, it’s a waiting game. We’re incredibly lucky that my husband’s income can float us, and that I can turn my attention to the kids. (Ohhh, but there are plenty of less gracious moments while I’m sweeping an entire spilled bowl of Cheerios off the floor or being screamed at by a naked two-year-old where I feel very bitter that my professional life is on hold.) 

What do you look forward to most every day under quarantine?
Besides having a cocktail and catching up with friends during our standing Tuesday night Zoom, I look forward most to creating a sense of schedule. Edie and Lou usually come running in to wake me up around 7, and even on particularly groggy mornings, I’m excited to hear what they’ve been chatting about. (This morning, Lou ran in wearing underwear, a cape, and headphones, carrying a few blocks and a magnifying glass, and yelled “I AM SUPER LOU—THE VIRUS BLASTER.”) They video chat with their classes at 9:30 and 11:30, though sometimes we play hooky and hike. Lunch and naps come next (though naps are less frequent these days) and my husband comes home around 4 and we’ll throw a bottle of wine and snacks in a basket and go sit in a park. 

It’s mundane, but without some kind of schedule, we all go nuts. We miss the cadence of school and work and making plans with friends, and like everyone else, have had to create new ways to spend our days. 

How are you adjusting to parenthood during quarantine? How has this impacted your writing practice and thinking?
Something I’ve always suspected is that I am not programmed to be an amazing stay-at-home parent. (Thanks, COVID, for giving me the space to confirm these suspicions.) I’m impatient, anxious, and easily flustered which are not ideal qualities in a full-time pandemic parent situation. It took a while for the three of us to find our groove, and our new little unit is still a work in progress.

When I can reframe my view, and look at this as an unexpected, special time with my kids instead of feeling the loss of my identity as someone who works, we all fare much better. Some days are total magic—about once a week we’ll all be in a good mood on a day with decent weather and take a hike, or make a mess with crafts. We won’t turn on the TV once, and my four-year-old will be excited to work on his letters and numbers. They’ll take naps (!) and I’ll have the chance to clean the house while I listen to a podcast or play 30 Rock in the background for the 40th time. 

And then there are the stressful days. Days filled with whining and yelling and constantly breaking up fights. Days where my son will scream “I HATE GOING TO PLACES,” and refuse to get dressed to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air. Days where my daughter, who mysteriously broke her toe last week, will cry from the pain and then race her brother and crash into a chair or table. And days where my heart will break while I hear Edie and Lou talk to each other about how they were little kids “before the virus,” and now are big kids. 

So we’re still adjusting. My husband and I have tentatively made the decision for me to continue at home until their new school starts in the fall, or it genuinely becomes safe to bring our nanny back (neither of which seem feasible right now). At my best, I’m proud that my kids are unquestionably our priority, and that when tested, my career temporarily took the backseat for them. And at my worst, I need to pour a drink at 5 p.m. on the dot because WHO AM I ANYMORE, MAYBE THIS MEZCAL KNOWS.

What’s your favorite meal or food you’ve been cooking at home?
Like a lot of people, quarantine has inspired a return to cooking and baking. I’ve always loved making food, but now it has a therapeutic quality. I scour cookbooks and the sites/Instagrams of my favorite chefs, and write out ingredient lists. I grocery shop with purpose which helps remove some of the abject fear I now have stepping into the once-familiar aisles. And because food is nourishing and necessary, I feel slightly less guilt parking my kids in front of Magic School Bus while I pour a glass of wine and cook the shit out of something.

My favorite quarantine recipes so far are Samin Nosrat’s citrus salmon; Alison Roman’s “The Stew,” Food52’s buttermilk and pickle-brined whole chicken; chocolate croissants (an enormous amount of work for a major payoff), and pickled cucumber and carrots.

How are you supporting local and creative businesses, makers, and/or healthcare workers in Baltimore? If you have a favorite org or charity you recommend supporting, please list.
We think a lot about the fate of local businesses and creators, and how to support them right now. Though I’m cooking more than ever, we’ve made a point to treat ourselves to carryout a few times a week. Orto’s chicken parmesan dinner for two (and Negroni shots) have been in rotation along with taco kits from Clavel, Pittsburgh salads from Golden West, and sushi from Minato. We also damn near wept with joy one night when my husband picked up a whole chicken, frisee salad, and asparagus soup from Petit Louis. We lit candles, opened a good bottle of wine, and pretended we were in the buzzy, inviting cocoon of the restaurant itself. 

I also started a quarantine newsletter. I share some family updates, but mostly links to interesting articles I’ve read, cool Instagram accounts to follow, recipes and crafts to make, parks to visit, and retailers to consider, all of which has a heavy Baltimore slant. It’s certainly not going to change the local retail landscape, but it’s a way for me to keep my writing muscles flexed while gently suggesting my readers go spend some money, if they can.

 

 

I have really loved walking in the woods at Herring Run Park and working in my garden. It has given me comfort to watch the seasons change and to watch things grow from seeds.
Bonnie Crawford

Bonnie Crawford, Artist
Web: bonniecrawford.com
IG: @bbonniecrawfordd

Neighborhood: We live in Beverly Hills, Northeast Baltimore. In a little cape cod on a corner lot with a beautiful yard. I bought this house, impulsively, back in October 2019. It was a crazy time to move, right before the whole Halloween-to-New-Years shitshow that many parents are familiar with. (Fellow artist and parent Jackie Milad once described those three months each year as feeling like you’re falling down the stairs.) For a minute there, I was really questioning my decision to have moved during such a stressful time. But in March, when we began spending all of our time here, I was so glad that I had moved out of the 800 sq. ft. apartment I was living in before. I can’t imagine being stuck in that tiny apartment with no yard and two rowdy boys right now.

Who are you quarantining with?
I am quarantining with my partner J. Hunter and two children, Emmet (9) and Hank (6). The children are still going back and forth between our household and their dad’s because we share custody.

What are the 3 emojis you are using most right now?
Red heart emoji, twinkling stars emoji, laughter with tears emoji (Are these boring? They seem boring.)

What object, things, or process have you fallen in love with at home during quarantine? How is this impacting your mood and productivity?
I have really loved walking in the woods at Herring Run Park and working in my garden. It has given me comfort to watch the seasons change and to watch things grow from seeds. Reminders that generative processes are happening all the time naturally and quietly and mostly out of my control. This has really slowed my productivity as an artist, though, because I’m learning that while I’m doing nothing at all, quite a lot happens anyway.

What has been most difficult for you to adjust to?
I find it difficult to adjust to the uncertainty of these times, to accept and process the collective grief, the fear and anxiety that we are all facing. The fact that this virus hurts certain communities more than others. Watching political leadership fail to help people. I wonder what my being an artist has anything to contribute to the collective good. And I am just sitting with those feelings, letting them be what they are. It’s important to doubt, I think.

How are you adjusting to parenthood during quarantine? How has this impacted your art practice and thinking as an artist?
Because my partner is a touring musician, he has been unable to work during this time, and I have a day job that I can do remotely. So, he has taken on the responsibilities of overseeing the kids’ distance learning. I know I am very lucky to have him fill this role and have enjoyed watching his relationship with the boys grow. He’s really good at teaching them, too. The teachers at Hampden Elementary have blown me away with their flexibility and the way they have shifted to creating content and lessons for the kids. And J. has augmented that by including experiential lessons in gardening and woodworking.

My art practice has been pretty synergistic with my life as a parent for the past four years. As a single parent, I had to make work when I could squeeze it in. Making drawings in my bed in the middle of the night, for example. So, having the support of a partner these days has really shifted things for me and I’m still adjusting. I am working on letting him help (which is a challenge for me) and I am excited about how my work will change as I learn to receive the support he is giving me.

What do you look forward to most after quarantine is over?
Going to galleries. I miss being in the room, physically, with art.

What are you making?
I have been doing this project for the past four years where I brush my teeth with my children and friends. I will take a photo of us brushing our teeth and post it to Instagram (@brushhouse). Since the stay home order was enacted in March, there has been this incredible local effort called QuaranTV, a Twitch channel run by a group of brilliant people who curate streaming content. So, I have been working with them to stream videos of our family brushing our teeth every other night. It has been really great to be able to share these intimate moments with our community. I love seeing the comments people leave during the stream, and it surprises the hell out of me that this very regular and banal act of brushing our teeth has value to some.

Sort of tangential to the teeth brushing is a weaving project that I started about a year ago. I built a 6-foot loom in my studio and have been creating this large-scale weaving made entirely out of dental floss. This project is nearly finished. I plan to install it in the shed in my backyard, and invite the public to come one person at a time to view it. I really really miss going to galleries and seeing art in real life, so I am hoping that I can create something for people that approximates that experience, and maybe also offers something slightly different, more intimate, less formal.

Also, I just started a Patreon (patreon.com/bbonniecrawfordd)! I am curious to see how this platform works, and if I can be playful with it. I tend to experiment a lot with social media, so I expect this will give me some new ways to think about interactions between artists, works of art, people who appreciate art, and money. I am thinking a lot about capitalism as it relates to art making and how having money involved in a direct and transparent way changes that dynamic, for better or worse.

How are you supporting local and creative businesses, makers, and/or healthcare workers in Baltimore? If you have a favorite org or charity you recommend supporting, please list.
I am participating in an affordable art sale run by Resort. One of the pieces included in the sale is a tiny weaving made from dental floss and monofilament that I made at home while recovering from pneumonia in February. I feel strongly about the importance of artist-run spaces. They are vital to our community and many of those spaces are facing a lot of uncertainty and are very vulnerable. So, if you can support artist-run spaces right now, I urge you to. 

I am also participating in Images for Baltimore, a print sale supporting the Maryland Food Bank. So many of our neighbors are facing economic hardship right now, and the Maryland Food Bank is meeting extraordinary demand. This project also happens to support Full Circle Fine Art, another art space in town that I treasure.

Some other efforts that I think are crucial right now are:
Sanctuary DMV is collecting and redistributing stimulus checks to undocumented individuals here: gofundme.com/f/ydm826-donate-your-stimulus-check-to-immigrant-families

The Bmore Community Food Collective is a city-wide food distribution network that has been making food available at the old Parts and Labor location. They also have volunteer drivers delivering food to people who can’t make it to the Remington site. You can make a financial contribution to that effort here: anendtoignorance.com.

 

 

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