Kimberly Becker, curator of the “Hunting Positive” art exhibit at the Chocolate Church Art Gallery, shows off a piece from artist Elena Brunner. The exhibit runs through Nov. 18. Sean Murphy

BATH — A new exhibit at the Chocolate Church Arts Center Gallery is giving artists a chance to express how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their lives.

The exhibit, “Hunting Positive,” is running through Nov. 18. Curator and local artist Kimberly Becker said she had noticed a dearth of artwork inspired by the pandemic, especially compared to the outpouring of creativity following other national challenges such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“During this pandemic, I don’t know of anybody who’s making anything,” she said.

When she saw New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying “we’re hunting positives,” she borrowed the expression as a play on words for the exhibit. The exhibit features the work of 14 artists, ranging from traditional paintings and sketches to hooked rug displays and more elaborate pieces. The exhibit also includes poetry and one essay — Becker said writers have feelings about the pandemic, too.

“I wanted to give writers a chance to describe it in their eyes,” she said.

The exhibit runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with special showings by appointment on Sunday and Monday; email Becker at The exhibit is also available as a virtual tour on her Facebook page:


Becker submitted a collection of dolls, which are for sale, with 100% of proceeds going to a charity that helps girls in schools in Uganda. Some other works are for sale, too, Becker said, with proceeds benefiting the arts center.

“Penguin and the Cesari,” by Lisa Goren Courtesy / Chocolate Church Art Gallery

But the point, Becker said, was to get artists thinking about expressing themselves during the pandemic, and, she said, the exhibit has already accomplished that goal.

“Every artist, on their own, thanked me for prompting them to make some art,” she said.

Lorry Fleming, a Bath writer, submitted a poem, “I keep the light on,” about how many people in quarantine aren’t interested in using the isolation as an excuse to learn a new language or skill — they’re challenged enough coping with the new reality.

“A lot of people came to me saying, ‘You’ve captured how I feel right now,’” she said.

Fleming said she was a bit intimidated by seeing her words displayed on a wall, an unusual format for her writing, but in the end, she was happy to contribute to the exhibit.


“I’m really proud to be a part of it,” she said.

Untitled, by Susan Webster. Courtesy / Chocolate Church Art Gallery

Elena Brunner, of Somerville, Massachusetts, said she knew Becker from a prior exhibit at the art center, and jumped at the chance to submit work to the exhibit. Her piece displays what her room looks like, since she and many other people have seen a lot more of their indoor spaces since the pandemic began.

“I think there is an energy from showing your work and getting feedback from the viewer,” she said.

Brunner works as an art handler for galleries in her area, and said she thinks artists may not know how to get their art noticed, with quarantines forcing some galleries to close, and keeping attendance down at those that remain open. Artists, she said, need to find more and different opportunities to get their work in front of patrons.

“This is a really interesting moment for artists to recalibrate,” she said.

Becker said the exhibit has been open since Oct. 19, and already the public has enjoyed the pieces.

“They’re here for an hour, two hours; they’re absorbing the work,” she said.

Sean Murphy 780-9094


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