Hot Shops Art Center has displayed their Collaboration Exhibit virtually and in person since Jan. 4. The Collaboration Exhibit aims to highlight that although lockdown may limit what we can do, our creativity is never limited.

Hot Shops Art Center is located at 1301 Nicholas St., and it specializes in “hot” forms of art. There are four studios each dealing with a different art medium that requires heat. The four rooms include a glass studio, a metal foundry, a ceramics studio and an iron forge.

Among these studios, there are also galleries, one of which houses the Collaboration Exhibit. This exhibit is also displayed online.

The premise of this exhibit is to show that collaboration is still possible amid a pandemic. The exhibit brings together a variety of pieces from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to show that creativity has no bounds.

Hot Shops Art Center’s website says, “A dictionary may describe collaboration as the action of working with someone to produce or create something. At the Hot Shops, working together, inspiring each other, and taking that collaborative practice into the community is second nature.”

The virtual format of the gallery is housed in a series of YouTube videos posted on the Hot Shops Art Center website. This allows viewers to not only see the art but to hear stories of how it was made.

Tim Barry is the managing partner at the Hot Shops Art Center and he said, “For our audience, [this] was a safe way for them to see the exhibit. Our hope is always to inspire more creativity and give new ways of thinking.”

For the artists, Barry said this type of exhibit “ignited their hope for the new year and sparked new ideas about creating together again. Their desire to keep creating is crucial to their well-being, and having a chance to show their work and share it with others, matters.”

One piece created by paper and acrylic artist Jennifer Young and art educator Jo- sephine Langbehn used a mixture of paint and calligraphy to symbolize movements during a difficult season.

Emphasizing the beauty of collaboration in this project, Young said, “You’re not doing something just on your own, but you’re able to talk to someone, get feedback ... , go back and forth, and have support.”

Young and Langbehn noted that although this was the first of their collaborations, it would not be the last.

Among Young and Langbehn’s work, there is an assortment of various other me- diums and styles of art found in the exhibit. Whether virtual or in person, this exhibit is worth viewing.

“It shows that although we are limited during this pandemic, creativity really isn’t,” junior in the College of Arts and Sciences Ruby Kenney said.

The selection of collaborative art that Hot Shops has to show is truly diverse in form.

The exhibit lasts through Feb. 26 and gives an opportunity to view art from your bedroom, or a chance to get out of the house if you are up for it.

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