“It was a lateral move,” says Flavia Lovatelli, a Columbia, South Carolina based artist, when speaking about her transition to life as an artist during COVID-19. Lovatelli’s studio is located in her backyard, but says all the social events like gallery openings and art fairs that “build us up for what we [artists] do have gone away, other than that the rest of my life is the same.”
With public health experts accrediting facial covering as an effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19, Lovatelli says, “I wanted to help myself and everybody around me by creating masks.” As a self-described sustainable artist, Lovatelli re-purposes materials to create her works. “Though the material and what I’m doing is different. I’m still using recycled materials. My neighbors gave me their dress shirts they were getting rid of, and I cut those up and use those to make the masks,” says Lovatelli.
Columbia public sculptures Green Eyes and Robot Cisterns got masks as well by Lovatelli. She created site-specific oversized masks for the sculptures, “as a symbolic gesture that we are all in this together. And a reminder to wear a mask,” says Lovatelli.
In addition to creating masks, Lovatelli is one of the artists taking part in the Windows with HeART project at The Heritage at Lowman Continuing Care Retirement Community in Chapin, South Carolina. Nursing homes across South Carolina have been under lockdown since mid-March when they began pausing visits and typical activities for the safety of their residents. The Windows with HeART project aims to give the residents at The Heritage at Lowman a new view with their windows being adopted and painted by artists including Lovatelli.
To see more of Lovatelli’s work check out her website.