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?