Art and Healing in the Time of the Pandemic

An Online Exhibition
Artists have responded to lines from a poem by

Edward Hirsch 

For the Sleepwalkers
published in 1980

and in his book The Living Fire 
published by Knopf in 2013.

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
   for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
 in their legs, so much faith in the invisible

It is my pleasure to present this online exhibition drawn from artists' works and responses that were inspired by these lines from Edward Hirsch's poem For the Sleepwalkers.
Link to the entire poem.

Deanna Sirlin 
October 18, 2021

Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.

Susan Cofer
April 17, 2020 (Grace)
Prismacolor pencil on paper
8 x 9 1/8 inches


Maria Artemis
The Yet To Be Named
Charcoal on Paper
40 x 30 x 2 inches

Andi Arnovitz
And the Children
watercolor and collage
32.2 inches wide


Nicolette Reim
Mixed Paper Collage
18 x 14 inches


In any case (pardon the pun), in this time of confinement and eruptions resulting from categorization and labels, it can be emotionally and visually rewarding to see all those letters usually chained in straight lines with designated meanings, released to dance other rhythms.
Perhaps they would have liked a wilder life on the street - posters battered by weather and/or circumstances– mine keep a bit of decorum and past sophistications, like most of us try to do.


David C. Robinson
 Alluvium #12
 Ceramic with glazes, underglazes, oxides and mason stain
 16.5 inches in diameter x 7 inches deep

Benjamin Jones
Night Rabbit 
Styrofoam, paper mache, black gesso, pins
9 x 6 inches


Kathy Meliopoulos
Cashier Portrait
Charcoal and Pastel
11 x 14 inches


Helen DeRamus
A Work of Fiction
Oil on Cradled Panel
30 x 30 inches

Painting is my refuge. I spend my time with the little marks and big marks while I’m reading my mind to find the connection to the ongoing whorl of life unfolding as I slip quietly into the morning.
The surge of energy begins to lead me to the next mark, the next stroke on the surface. The music begins and the flow is coming from nowhere and everywhere. Later, what I see is the connection of the outside world and the inside world in the images being created but it’s impossible to know what it means until much later when the process finds completion.


Rocio Rodriguez
Black Field Dusk 
Oil on canvas
48 x 58 inches


Madeleine Soloway
mixed media printed on aluminum panel
32" x 40"


Susan D. Waters
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches

Marea Haslett

Acrylic on panel and digital
11x14 inches


Terri Dilling
Orchid Dreaming
Acrylic with pigment crayon and charcoal on canvas
42 x 48 inches


Angelika Domschke
World Healing
Acrylic and Hydrocal
11x 10 x 24 inches

Flora Rosefsky
Mikvah Immersion
14 x 11 inches


Robert Sherer
COVID-19 Negative blood on paper
26 x 20 inches 


The piece titled Stronghold, presents an elaborate maze of defense mechanisms necessary for personal protection.  Being a sexually active young Gay male during the worst years of the HIV/AIDS crisis taught me to resort to extreme measures to survive.  
The crisis taught me to perceive my body as an impenetrable fortress and to steadfastly refuse to allow any Trojan Horses within me.  The COVID-19 crisis is no different.  I will not let down my defenses.  I will not be lulled into a false sense of security.  I will not engage in risky behaviors.  I will stay safe within my stronghold.


Jeffrey Wilcox Paclipan
New Moon On Monday
Mixed media paper on canvas 
48 x 48 inches

Lisa Anbild
Sweet Summer Memories
Photography, collage and watercolor on watercolor paper
6 x 9 inches


Jeannine Cook
Outside In, Cork Oak 
Silverpoint-Polychromos pencil
10 x 7 inches


Donna Horn
Scrolls #1: “Resilience” 
Ink, acrylic, pencil, gesso, crayon on paper; cotton and linen threads.
16 x 10 x 2 inches 
 I was working at home in early Covid days, not going to my studio. These rolled paper wall sculptures emerged after an extensive period of experimentation stimulated by several online workshops which pushed me out of my comfort zone.
I did not know where I was headed, but trusted the process of art marking, feeling certain that it would help maintain my equilibrium during the craziness of the times.


Melissa Ewing
Arms Outstretched to the Darkness of the Unknown”
Acrylic painting on canvas
16 x 20 inches

My painting was inspired by my reading of the poem to open ourselves to the unknown, dance and soak in the moonlight and reach for new experiences while having faith and confidence in our grounding. 


Elizabeth Katherine Porcel
Night Growth
Acrylic on black paper
10 x 8 inches



Ellen Kierr Stein
Class Reunion: Still Connected
Acrylic Collage on Canvas
22 x 26 inches

This piece was created in honor of my 55th high school reunion in New Orleans. The reunion had been scheduled for mid-March 2020. It was cancelled five days before the event - the week that COVID isolation began in the United States.


Irina Kohn
Acrylic on canvas
24 x18 inches

Elise Dismer
The Dream that Sustained Joseph in Prison
14 x 11 inches

What carries us through dark times when we fear things will never change? Consider Joseph, an innocent man thrown into prison for years of his life. He could have felt as though his life were stagnating year after year in captivity.But something sustained him during that dark time of confinement:
I believe he held onto the hope of a dream he had been given in his youth. In the dream, he and his brothers were represented by sheaves of grain. All the other sheaves bowed to his own. The dream acted as a promise from God that he would someday rule over his brothers.In fact, Joseph later became the second-in-command of Egypt and his brothers did bow to him. But in the pit of the prison, it's easy to lose hope. The same is true in the middle of a global pandemic.I believe what sustains us in the midst of darkness is the hope in the dream of a better tomorrow.

Jane Berke
Juggling and Balancing with All Her Strength
Acrylic and  oil paint
48 x 24 inches


Debra Svitil
Joining the Dance
Mixed Media
19  x 24 inches

Originally inspired by a photo of my daughter standing in front of this painting by Matisse at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. When I read the prompt for this exhibition, it clicked that this was how this image should evolve; we are ready and eager to rejoin the dance that is our life.


L. Z. Saltz
about those sleepwalkers
Digital Image

Ivy Wu
Subway Station
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches


Karen Thompson
Virtual Hugs Across the Miles 

Acrylic on canvas, gold leaf, and graphite
 36 x 24 inches

Kathy Rennell Forbes
Covid Slumber
11x15 inches

During most of 2020 and into 2021, we went on a daily walk in the park. This scene captured for me some of the loneliness and exhaustion we were all feeling plus the need for uninterrupted rest in our lives.


Carol Santos
Deep Sky
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 48 inches