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clyfford still | museum
A man and woman look at artwork with a colorful abstract painting behind them
The Late Works by James Dewhirst

Art in the Pandemic

By Stewart Tucker Lundy

Everyone has dealt with the pandemic in different ways. For me, it was very rough at first. You must understand, I have been in a wheelchair for almost 40 years. After an accident in 1982, I became a quadriplegic. That means that I have limited use of my hands and need assistance with certain things. When the first signs of a pandemic started, I began to fall into a depression, which, ironically enough, I had never had before.

At first, I turned to music to inspire me. Most of our greatest artists are musicians. Then, I started turning toward paintings, art pieces (some by Clyfford Still) that inspired me even more.


Man in a motorized wheelchair with a beard wears sunglasses and looks at the camera in front of large abstract sculptures of people
Photo courtesy of Stewart Tucker Lundy

More recently, there have been days where our political climate and social unrest would get to be too much for me, so I temporarily deleted my social media.

I started reading books about artists that I admired for more inspiration. Clyfford was one of them. I was really impressed with the type of man he was and I began to think about the true impact of images and words.

Recently, I received a call from Sonia Rae at the Clyfford Still Museum. She offered me an opportunity to do a takeover on Clyfford Still Museum‘s Instagram account. It was exactly what I needed! I’m on an ongoing mission to always help others, as many have helped me. At that moment, I felt as though I could be as creative as I wanted to be.

I was told that I could do almost anything, so I started calling my friends. Since the current times were feeling like 1968, and I know some of my friends weren’t born in that time, I wanted to make everything for the takeover black-and-white so that all would be equal.

I began to listen to the stories of these beautiful human beings that I called my friends, who were so eloquent when they spoke of and honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With my wife’s help, we stayed up all night long posting to CSM’s Instagram account.

Subsequently, a friend of mine from PBS wanted to do a story on the posts. I was happier for my friends than for myself. Sometimes I can be a ham, and I’m used to being in front of the camera, but it wasn’t about me this time around. It was about my friends and how they used the artistry of words.

I can honestly say this was a transforming event in my life.



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