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Works in Rough Going Opening Talk & Panel

April 13, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

works in rough going exhibit

Join us on April 13th at 5pm for an artist talk and panel discussion on documenting community and social support during the pandemic for some of the people made most vulnerable by social isolation. This conversation, introduced and moderated by 2020-2021 Kenan Graduate Fellow in Experimental and Documentary Arts Moriah Lefebvre, brings together experts in clinical care, poetic expression, and visual art for a conversation about how we capture the ephemeral and often-fragile connections that may be the difference between life and death for those struggling with addiction.

This event accompanies Works in Rough Going: Recovery Community and Communication During the Pandemic, on display in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery and online beginning April 9th. The exhibit focuses on the wrenching loss of community for people in substance abuse recovery in the wake of COVID-19. For months, in-person meetings, long a supportive lifeline for people emerging from alcohol and drug abuse, were all canceled due to the coronavirus. New, virtual ways of engaging have sprung up in the intervening months, offering new, if imperfect, ways of engaging.

LeFebvre’s work documents some of the text exchanges between people in recovery as they sought to understand and process the limitations on in-person meetings as the pandemic disrupted and severed most in-person meetings. In the process, she asks important questions about the fragile and often-ephemeral nature of community, the immense toll of life under lockdown for vulnerable populations, and how communities continue to care and protect one another when their normal ways of doing so are impossible.

The panel will feature:

  • Kate Daniels, Edwin Mims Professor of English, Vanderbilt University
  • Pedro Lasch, Research Professor of Art, Art History, & Visual Studies, Duke University
  • Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, Associate Professor of the Practice in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences


April 13, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm