Listen up familia you have until December 31, 2020 to check out CoVIDA – Homage to Victims of the Pandemic at the Morris-Jumel Mansion. CoVida is the creation of internationally recognized artist Andrea Arroyo as an artistic tribute to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. CoVIDA honors the people who have passed away from the virus, acknowledges the resilience of our community, and recognizes the courage of essential workers still on the front lines. Ribbons incorporated into the piece feature names of pandemic victims, submitted by the public for inclusion in the living memorial, which will continue to expand, as more names are received.
The CoVIDA project acknowledges the impact of the pandemic and creates a safe opportunity for community engagement, as well as a space for reflection and intersectional conversations. To date, over 500 names have been added to the memorial by public submission including at the Community Day of Reflection. So far, the ribbons on display include names of people in the community, around the country, as well as from Mexico, Turkey and France.
The neighborhood of Washington Heights, like other regions of the country, has been devastated by COVID-19. “Due to quarantines and strict social distancing guidelines, people have not been able to come together to grieve as a community, to be with loved ones as they passed, or bear witness to the scale of this tragedy across the country,” said artist Andrea Arroyo. “In addition to acknowledging our cultural heritage and the land of the Lenape Nation that we stand on today, CoVIDA acknowledges that life continues during the pandemic, and while we reflect on the devastating loss of life, we look to the future with hope, and celebrate the life that is here and now.” The piece features an important public participation element, and individuals are invited to submit names in person and virtually of loved ones lost to the pandemic throughout the run of the exhibition. Submissions can be made on-site at the Morris-Jumel Mansion and on the grounds of Roger Morris Park, at community satellite locations, and virtually by filling out a form located at morrisjumel.org/covida.