By Nick Zelaya Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Everson Museum is the home of nearly 11,000 works of art, and every year the museum presents awards to some artists. In 2020, the Annual Picnic, which typically takes place in June to honor the artists who are recipients of the Everson award, was cancelled due to the coronavirus and this year it got pushed back to September. Now with the picnic set to happen tomorrow, these artists and guests who have waited over a year and a half to celebrate, finally get the chance to celebrate.
The following day, the museum hosts their Community Day and will unveil AbStranded, the brand new exhibit at Everson. Admission is free, plus there will be activities for kids to get a break from screens and work together in person to and create some art, which has been limited since the beginning of the pandemic. Director of communications Kristin Sheehan says it was a challenge not having people attend the museum for so long, but they found alternative ways to keep visitors entertained.
“When we first had to shut down due to Covid, we all got right to work on developing virtual programing so that our Everson community and the youth in the area can still have art activities,” Director of Communications Kristin Sheehan said.
With limited hours open, the museum tends to see most of their visitors during the afternoon. Sheehan added that the festivities this weekend are expected to bring in large groups from the community, which hasn’t happened since before the first shut down due to the pandemic. This will allow people to enjoy the new exhibits and the renovated museum. Wolfgang Poehner, a Rochester native, came to visit Everson, and talked about the impact of getting to observe different pieces of art.
“Sometimes a piece has a lot more impact on you if you see it in person and in a way, if you’re not able to visit a museum, it’s kind of like not being able to see a friend,” Poehner said.
The museum has not held their Annual Picnic since June of 2019, so 12 artists will be featured for their works, including the six from last year who were recognized through a video, but not in person. Both the picnic and community day are showing significant progress towards moving past the pandemic, but for Everson Museum, the biggest achievement is finally getting the chance to bring people together again.
“Art does seem to be able to transcend all of our differences,” Sheehan pointed out. “And we all know right now it feels like there are many among us.”