When the Chapman community went into isolation, Professor Micol Hebron (Art) had to improvise her plans for Contemporary Gallery Practice class, which relied on weekly travel to area art galleries as part of their curriculum. She found a solution in one of her former student’s projects and now, she is using an Instagram challenge to educate her class virtually.

Sarah Waldorf (‘12, Art), a Wilkinson alum who now leads social media for The Getty Center, which wanted to keep the public engaged even after the museum was forced to temporarily close its doors. Waldorf conceived #BetweenArtandQuarantine, an online project encouraging people to recreate famous artwork using themselves and items available to them at home.

(Left) Danae and the Shower of Gold (retitled to “Danae and the Shower of Gold[fish]”); (Right)Leah Sherman-Weiner, Senior Film Production Major and Art Minor; and Stephanie McAdams, Senior Screenwriting Major and English Minor

“I thought of [the class project] as a nice way to pay homage to Sarah – a studio art alumna – and to build a connection between past and present art students at Chapman,” said Hebron. “It’s great when we can show students examples of viable, enriching careers in the arts, such as the one Sarah has built.”

Hebron saw the Getty challenge as the perfect creative outlet to demonstrate an important component of the Contemporary Gallery Practice class: what it means to be learning and making art from home.

Her students were tasked with recreating pieces from the Getty collection using only three objects or individuals. What resulted was an eclectic mix of images featuring posed bodies and common household objects, like television sets and bedspreads. 

“There’s a sense of connecting with people around the world, which must feel great, especially in this time,” Waldorf told Chapman. “I’ve received a lot of messages that said, ‘Please don’t stop sharing these.’ Seeing creativity is so healing.” 

(Top) Cabinet on Stand about 1675-1680 Attributed to André-Charles Boulle; (Bottom) Curren Taber and his father, Sophomore Computer Science Major and Art Minor

The Getty project has even inspired Wilkinson College’s Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art, which started a weekly version of the challenge. Every Friday, they are featuring posts on Instagram with re-creations of pieces from the Escalette’s collection.

Especially during this time in quarantine, people are relying on the arts – music, literature, graphic design, game design, digital imagery – to get them through the everyday. Projects like Waldorf’s exemplify how influential and powerful the creativity of the Chapman community can be during uncertain times.

“Art, in all of its forms, allows us to express and share our truths and experiences with each other, which in turn, cultivates empathy, and empathy is the quintessence of connection,” added Hebron. “Can you possibly imagine working, learning, and living during quarantine without art? I can’t.”

As an undergraduate Waldorf participated in the “Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship,” which segued into a full-time job at the Getty. For more information about internships, contact Wilkinson College’s career advisor Erin Berthon.