Art Faculty and Students Share Pandemic Experience

As part of a short series, the Heard Libraries are highlighting unique experiences from Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff through the lens of donations to the Vanderbilt COVID-19 Archive. This archive will provide future historians and researchers detailed insight into the pandemic and how it affected members of the campus community. We’re featuring excerpts from submissions contributed with permissions to share.

While some of us have been devoting extra time at home to languished pre-COVID-19 projects, others are exploring their skills and hobbies in new ways. Members of the Art Department faculty were some of the earliest participants in the Vanderbilt COVID-19 Archive, sending us images of artwork exploring the uniqueness of this situation we’re all living through. Faculty also encouraged their students to express their pandemic experience through art, and the students responded.

Associate Professor of Art Vesna Pavlović, who is interim department chair, created a series of portraits in her makeshift home studio, using Zoom and other improvisations to collaborate with others globally and look at the world in a new way. She calls it The Claude Mirror, after the 18th- century invention by the same name, with the digital aspects of the work amplifying the connections between technology and communication.

Submissions like this show how artists have represented distancing within their works, while striving to overcome the physical spaces between us. If you’re interested in donating pieces of your own experiences to the COVID-19 Archive, the process is easy! Head to and click on the “Submit” button or email for more information.

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