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story.lead_photo.caption A closeup of Rodney Burlingame's "Then Came the Lockdown" shows a person biting into a cheeseburger. The piece is part of an exhibit titled "Quarantine Expressions" at Capital Arts Gallery in Jefferson City. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

When the coronavirus first emerged and began to spread in the United States, many were forced to stay home for weeks as we all tried to do our part to stay safe. This quarantine period became a perfect time to take on new projects, and many artists used the time for just that.

Starting Friday, the Capital Arts Gallery will have a new exhibit on display — "Quarantine Expressions," which is described as "expressions of creativity in the face of communal hardship."

Capital Arts President Holly Nunn said the pandemic forced Capital Arts to be closed for the majority of 2020, only opening at the end of the year with the Give the Gift of Art Exhibition, encouraging people to purchase and gift local art. Because of that closure, Nunn said, Capital Arts wanted to give artists an opportunity to share what they have worked on during that quarantine period or what that period meant to them. Nunn said some artists created their pieces during that quarantine period, while others chose to create pieces specifically for the exhibit that show "what 2020 did for them as a year."

"I think there are some really unique pieces in this show and some really high quality pieces," Nunn said, noting all the artwork in the exhibit will be for sale.

The type of art involved varies from mixed media to acrylic paint to fabric work. The theme is also widely interpreted, with some pieces involving direct references to the pandemic while others take a more broad look at 2020 and the upheaval — social and political — seen throughout the year. One series is simply portraits of musicians.

"Quarantine Expressions" will open tomorrow and be displayed through March 20 at Capital Arts Gallery, 1203 Missouri Blvd. Items will be on display 3:30-6 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.

For those unable or uncomfortable visiting the gallery itself, Nunn said all pieces also will be displayed at capitalarts.org.

Nunn also noted Capital Arts is continuing to search for an executive director and asked anyone interested in learning more to visit capitalarts.org.

The next exhibit scheduled at Capital Arts is the "Adult Fine Art Exhibit" set for April 2-June 5.

Portraits painted by Garrett Jackson adorn a wall Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at Capital Arts, part of an exhibit titled "Quarantine Expressions."
Photo by Liv Paggiarino/News Tribune.
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