ART OPENING: “Covid Masked/Unmasked by Melissa Aytenfisu”

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ART OPENING: “Covid Masked/Unmasked by Melissa Aytenfisu”

June 22, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


ON VIEW THRU AUGUST 12, 2023: Through a series of lithographic and letterpress prints, mixed media pieces, paintings, and an installation by Canadian artist Melissa Aytenfisu, this exhibition explores ways in which COVID-19 has exposed social and economic inequities, and profiled systemic racism in Houston. Statistics show that in Houston, as elsewhere, poor and racialized citizens get sick and die in much higher numbers than wealthier, white citizens. COVID-19 has revealed systemic issues such as the historically disproportionate levels of co-morbidities and lack of health coverage among racialized Houstonians. This project brings life to these issues and reports.

The works in this exhibition depict the heartbreak of communities of color and reveals barriers to treatment and recovery among poor and racialized covid victims. Through the eyes of the artist, the mask is transformed into a crucial agent in the unmasking of racism, poverty and political polarization. The mask further becomes a symbol of the physical restrictions imposed on public activities and the ironic effects of these restrictions in limiting covid spread but also limiting life-affirming social contact in communities. Countries were quick to shut down borders, limiting family visits and cutting off important support systems for so many.

Finally, the mask symbolizes the resilience of oppressed communities in fighting to prevail over the pandemic. Stripped of the masks of complacency or inattentiveness or plain old prejudice, viewers of the exhibition are challenged to ask themselves: How have we allowed such inequities in quality of life to persist over time in Houston? What can we do in the name of justice, equality and compassion, to bring down the barriers that COVID-19 has highlighted?

The Printing Museum is open only on Thursday 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Friday and Saturday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Call to visit at other times by appointment at (713)


June 22, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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The Printing Museum
3121 San Jacinto St.
Houston, TX 77004 United States
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(713) 522-4652
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