Georgetown art display features dozens of paintings, photos chronicling pandemic

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Visitors can get a unique look at the COVID-19 pandemic — and how it played out around the country — in a new art exhibition in Georgetown.

Visitors can get a unique look at the COVID-19 pandemic in a new art exhibition in Georgetown.

“We always set out to capture a specific moment in time,” said artist Kate Fleming. “We just had no idea how specific a moment in time it was going to be.”



Fleming and her partner Tom Woodruff visited all 50 states from 2019 to 2021, with a long interlude in the middle during the worst of the pandemic.

Artist Kate Fleming with some of her paintings documenting the COVID-19 pandemic. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The coronavirus left its impression on some of her paintings and his photographs.

The clusters of mostly small works of art are on display at 2900 M Street in Georgetown.

Some of the works are accompanied by journal entries. A painting of a fast-food dumpster area from March of 2020 sits next to an entry that reads: “terrified that someone would come talk to me and breathe on me.”

A May 2021 painting of a gas station — a common subject of Fleming’s — sits next to an entry reading in part, “sore throat freaking out.”

A painting of a fast-food dumpster area from March of 2020 sits next to an entry that reads:”terrified that someone would come talk to me and breathe on me.” (WTOP/John Aaron)

Some of the works, such as a photo of a spider trapped under a glass, symbolize their time back home, in quarantine, before they could finish visiting all of the states.

One room, which features a seat from the van they used in their trip, shows video snippets of their cross-country travels.

Artistic representations of toilet paper (WTOP/John Aaron)

In all, Fleming said she made 194 paintings, fewer than half of which are on display. Woodruff, meanwhile, shot 50,000 frames.

The exhibition, called “People from Away,” is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., through Sept. 11. The works of art are also available for sale.

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