reviews > COVID-19

What’s a social practice artist to do during a pandemic that dictates a minimum of six feet between people, mask wearing, and strict limits on being with others? Artist Lexa Walsh, her residency at Grand Central Arts in Santa Ana, CA, indefinitely postponed—she had plans to investigate the radical activist Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange—has turned to ceramics, prints and drawings. That might sound unremarkable, but it’s quite striking when your professional work has for fifteen years included such collaborative endeavors as group impromptu protest song creation; an ironic art consultancy service; and a cookbook-style portrait of the San Pablo neighborhood workforce. Despite appearances, however, a coherence emerges between Walsh’s relational and object-oriented creations, all of which espouse a folksy, critical sense of humor and an appreciation for the wonderfully ugly things of life. On sale now, through her website, are tenderly scowl-faced clay nuns, glazed chains (break ‘em!), dozens and dozens of harpies, and handmade trophies for all occasions. Go on, you know you deserve at least one.

—Lori Waxman 2020-10-02 2:09 PM