"I expected to do it for one week," says Constantine Kline, an arts management professional who currently works as director of ticketing implementation at Patron Technology.
That one week turned into 11 weeks after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story about CoronaChoir that got picked up by national news networks. “It just went wild," she says. "I just kept doing more interviews. It was not at all what I expected."
Now Constantine Kline and a team of fellow Dormont residents are presenting CoronaCrafted: Dormont’s Visual & Digital Arts Show, a socially distant exhibit displaying visual art, music, and other media produced by people during quarantine. Running from Aug. 21 through Sept. 19, CoronaCrafted will showcase work in 10 participating businesses along Dormont's Potomac Avenue and on the event's website.
CoronaCrafted includes a closing party featuring live music, art activities, retail specials, and artist meet-and-greets.
The submitted work comes from 25 participants representing a range of ages and experience, from professional artists and musicians to amateurs like Constantine Kline, who took up painting for the first time during quarantine using an online painting program called Doodlewash.
“I bought watercolors for my daughter and she turned her nose up at them,” says Constantine Kline, adding that 90 days later she now has 90 small watercolors paintings, 15 of which will be on display during CoronaCrafted.
Besides painting, the show will also include digital illustration and sculpture, as well as original music and animation, both of which will be available to watch or listen to on the website.
Constantine Kline believes CoronaCrafted provided an activity for families in Dormont to do together, describing how one participant created a digital puppet show with her kids.
“It's kind of an insular community,” says Constantine Kline. “There are a lot of families who have lived there for a long time. People were looking for something to do with their family that was an approved activity. They started to grab onto this.”
She also sees it as a way to promote Dormont as an arts community because “a lot of times it's not thought of in that way.” In that regard, she says CoronaCrafted has become a sort of “little arts council,” which gathered arts-minded people to promote community engagement.
“We're doing the same thing together because we're all trying to get through this together,” says Constantine Kline.