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Sioux City artists say pandemic affects tone of their work

Sioux City artists say pandemic affects tone of their work

Art Sux Gallery

Robin Vaughan with three of her paintings at the Art Sux Gallery

Art takes time and, sometimes, art galleries do, too.

Art SUX Gallery located in the Ho-Chunk Center at 600 Fourth St. was able to reopen July 11.

Amy Thompson, the owner of the Art SUX gallery, said everyone is excited to reopen. However, they don't want to rush things if artists and patrons aren't ready.

Thompson said she first opened the Art SUX Gallery in December because she and other artists couldn't afford some of the expensive rates for an art studio.

"When the Benson building closed, which a lot of these artists were in, they were left without a space," Thompson said. "And some got into Gallery 103, and some did not and those who did not, including myself,  had no place to go. It was kind of a frantic search."

Add in the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and many artists found their inspiration was gone or the tone of their work had changed.

"I had almost completely shut down," Thompson said. "Once I came back in here, I had tons of ideas. It's the sitting down and doing it."

Thompson said that the art she was able to make has a darker tone. She said that has also happened with other artists. They went from bright and happy to darker tones and themes.

Artist Thomas Kleber said everything associated with COVID-19 was reflected in many artists' work.

"We've all responded differently to the situation," Thompson said.

Robin Vaughan said she doesn't paint dark, but because of the feelings and experiences, she noticed a shift.

"Opening again doesn't scare us as much," Thompson said.

"It's like having a grand opening again," Betty Skewis-Arnett, another artist at Art SUX Gallery, said. "We're glad to be open. We're glad to have people back."

Kleber said he hopes that once the gallery is open, it'll have friends and family coming, followed by the public. He said he expects it will take some time for people to feel comfortable coming in.

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