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Jennifer Nachmanoff Exhibition
March 1, 2022 - March 31, 2022
“Hearts to Hold” Statement:
In the summer of 2020, Davis ceramic artist Jennifer Nachmanoff began forming tiny clay hearts in response to the lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. At that point, the count was around 10,000 lives lost in California alone. Something was needed to hold the hearts, so Nachmanoff formed a vessel in the shape of a spikey covid molecule. Thus began a project, the Hearts to Hold project, that is ongoing and currently comprises over 8 vessels, holding over 80,000 tiny hearts, and representing the 80,000 plus lives lost to the pandemic in California to date. Describing the process of making the hearts, Nachmanoff says, “What started as a sacred meditation has sadly become a daily routine. If I could, I’d make hearts for all the lives lost and all the lives affected.”
According to Nachmanoff, this tactile representation of the collective experience of loss is intended to generate an emotional response that numbers alone fail to generate. Prior to its residency at the Davis Cemetery Gallery was on display at the Pence Gallery in conjunction with that gallery’s “2020” exhibit. Visitors are offered several prompts and invited to reflect on loss and resilience and to attach their written reflections to the artwork, becoming a part of the project. The written responses will be collected and shared at a community event at the cemetery later this spring. Plans are also afoot for the Hearts to Hold project to tour various venues, including senior residences, hospitals, and schools, offering the people living and working in those locations a chance to reflect and participate. Says Nachmanoff, “I hope people find the project cathartic; that it helps our community to remember and heal, and then move forward.”