On Feb. 24, the neon sign in the window of the Handwerker Gallery lit up for the first time in 11 months. Open for in-person visits once again, Ithaca College’s home for art has been a beacon of perseverance in an uncertain time.
When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, the gallery, like the rest of the college, had to adjust quickly. The staff was able to photograph the current exhibitions to present in an online gallery. Curatorial intern Abby Haley ’20 was tasked with putting together an entirely virtual senior showcase to honor the work of her classmates. The result was “Again, again, again, & again,” a website where anyone could view the paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and video projects created by the Class of 2020.
“We had three times the number of people visit the online gallery in one day then we would have in a whole semester in person,” said Haley. “A bunch of people totally unrelated to the school left testimonials on the website saying things like ‘This is great,’ ‘This is so refreshing to see,’ ‘There's so much bad news, but this is beautiful.’ I remember crying because I was so happy with how it turned out.”