Metro Weekly

The Corner’s COVID-19 Art Exhibition captures the emotional toll of the pandemic

Whitman-Walker's exhibition also includes a podcast, photoshoot, workshop, and walking tour lecture.

The Corner at Whitman Walker
The Corner at Whitman Walker: Stay Alive to Life

The Corner, Whitman-Walker’s new cultural center, is presenting an art and discussion series offering reflections on the tumultuous events of the past year.

The centerpiece of the series “Stay Alive to Life! Resilience in the Time of COVID” is the display of 225 ink drawings created by Piotr Szyhalski between March and November of last year.

Grouped together as “COVID-19: Labor Camp Report,” these diaristic posters capture the emotional toll and political turbulence of the early part of the pandemic.

Also part of the exhibition is Austrian scholar Ines Doujak’s “Transmission: A Series of Five Podcasts on Disease and Pandemics in a Distorted World,” a podcast with British novelist John Barker.

The Corner at Whitman Walker
The Corner at Whitman Walker: Stay Alive to Life

Through episodic explorations into the significance of everything from “Meat” to “Class” to “Vaccines,” the audio series traces the social and cultural history of pandemics, from their roots in European colonialism to the disproportionate impact they have on migrants, minorities, and the poor.

The remainder of the festival includes a “Jazz on the Corner” series of performances by local LGBTQ jazz acts, with upcoming dates for the Simone Baron Group (6/3), the Landon Paddock Group (6/10), C. Corey Bey’s Black Folks Don’t Swim? outfit (6/17), and the J Chris Quartet (6/24).

Other highlights include “The Look of Survival” photoshoot with Dwayne Lawson-Brown (5/9), a “Collecting Dreams” workshop with Museum of Dreams founder Sharon Silwinski (5/16), a “Latinx Walking Tour” Lecture with local historian Jose Gutierrez (5/30), “Our More Hopeful Tomorrow: Resilience, Singing & Wellness as We Exit the COVID-19 Pandemic” conversation and screening with Dr. Eugene Rogers and the Washington Chorus (6/20), and an “Art & Health” conversation featuring Veronica Esposito with Dwayne Lawson-Brown, Benjamin Brooks, and The Corner’s Ruth Noack (6/26).

Through June 27. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Corner is at 1701 14th St. NW. Entry is free, with donations welcome. Visit for the full schedule of events.

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