Marion Art Week called off for coronavirus concerns

Apr 1, 2020

MARION — Faced with event restrictions that limit crowd sizes to ten and uncertainty about how coronavirus prevention measures will last, ArtWeek, a statewide organization that hosts a weeklong art festival in more than 130 communities in 2019, has cancelled its event for 2020, which has also cancelled Marion’s event. 

The Marion Art Center had been planning since January to hold one of those weeklong festivals starting on May 1. 

Jodi Stevens, the art center’s executive director, said that the Mairon organizers kind of saw it coming, and while it was hard, it was also better to cancel now than after people had already signed up. 

“I think the cancellation was for the best.  Our priority is the health of our community,” said Marion ArtWeek chair Jennifer Wolfe Webb. “We may be able to offer some of the programs scheduled for ArtWeek at the MAc 2020 later this year, and we’re looking forward to planning a fantastic ArtWeek at the MAC 2021.”

Stevens said that ArtWeek’s goal is to provide “accessible, creative programming,” and that is one of the greatest losses. 

However, she added that a lot of the event’s programming may be able to be moved to this year whenever large events are permitted, or to next year’s ArtWeek. 

The Marion Art Center has been working on a new website, so she has been able to devote a lot more time to that. 

While art lovers may not see any new exhibitions or dance to live music at the events planned for this May, the arts are not entirely out of their reach at this time. 

The Marion Art Center is currently closed to the public, but has released several videos, one in collaboration with Old Rochester Community Television, highlighting its current exhibition, “Thor’s Hammer,” for a virtual gallery.

Stevens was also able to use the Marion Art Center’s virtual gallery to showcase the work of one of its members, which is currently on display at a closed art center in Rhode Island. 

“It’s nice to see everyone [at galleries] support each other. It’s all we can do,” Stevens said.  

The art center has also solicited online submissions of works from local artists on the theme of "Living Uncertainty.” 

It eventually plans to showcase these works in its virtual gallery. 

Artists with submissions for the gallery should email and include a brief description about the artwork(s) when applicable. Email or call the MAC at 508-748-1266 with any questions.