Students in the School of Art and Design (SoAD) at East Carolina University continue to work diligently on their art projects, even amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, and deserve to have it shown to the general public and campus community face-to-face.
The galleries located in Jenkins Fine Art Center have been closed since March 2020 due to COVID-19 state mandated restrictions, which means students have been unable to display their work.
The spring 2021 semester has been able to offer students the opportunity to attend certain classes in-person. Of course, this means they must follow the necessary safety protocols and precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, though the art galleries are not given this same opportunity.
Many students had to endure unfortunate changes due to the online instruction transition, which would include those who usually work in a hands-on environment who had to adapt to an online or at-home experience. Although there’s benefits in an online art exhibition, such as the option to view months later, the experience does not remain the same.
We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, believe that if some classes are able to meet in person and some groups are able to host small gatherings, the SoAD galleries should be able to open in an effort to display students’ art with a safe capacity and time limit with social distancing guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Undergraduate and graduate students work hard on their projects and look forward to showing the community their final products. As many students may be taking online courses throughout this semester and the spring 2020 semester, being able to display their work may make working from home or under restrictions feel more normalized.