Pandemic Archive

Art Cards

By Morna McDermott McNulty . . .

Statement about the artwork

These collages (each 4” x 6”) were made our of paper, magazine images, and original photographs taken by the artist and transformed into “art cards.” I made these “art cards” during the second week of quarantine as a way to cope with the stress of the unknown future for my family and for our world. The growing sense of isolation both emotionally and physically led me to create art with an intentionality; each piece was created with someone I loved and missed in mind. Mediating on them and what they mean to me in my life, I used emotion and intuition to assemble each one. The designs are spontaneous and emergent. The joy of collage art, for me, is in the way in which the materials “speak” to me and each piece to one another. The process creates a layering of human and non-human “correspondences” — connecting heart, hand and eye. The collages were then signed with a message on the back stating:

“You are receiving this art card as a reminder to us all how, despite how far away we might be from one another right now, that art can always be a vehicle for creative keeping us together.”

I mailed them out to approximately 10 different friends or family members. I received texts, phone calls, and emails in return thanking me for this small gift. A reminder that even in moments of loss and absence, we can make creative connections for sharing our stories, and ourselves.

Artist Bio:

Morna McDermott McNulty is an artist, writer and educator. She is a professor in the College of Education at Towson University, as well as an author (Blood’s Will — a vampire novel, 2018), and film producer (Voices of Baltimore: Life Under Segregation, 2017). She is also a certified Paint Your Life instructor, hosting workshops in schools and art galleries around the country. Morna has been working in, and with, arts-integration for public education and social justice for over 20 years. Some of her photographs have been published in various academic journals including The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and The Currere Exchange.