The Museum of Fine Arts Houston recently released an online photography exhibition featuring works from HISD Class of 2020 graduating seniors created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual exhibition, Stronger than COVID-19: Empowering the Seniors of Houston Independent School District to Reclaim the Narrative of Their Senior Year, was inspired by Booker T. Washington High School art teacher Maya Imani Watson, who, as the mother of a class of 2020 senior, wanted to give students from 12 HISD high schools the opportunity to take back the story of their senior year, which had been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As I watched my own child struggle with the realities of her senior year unfolding in such an unprecedented way, I began to think about how to change the narrative,” she said. “With the help of members of HISD’s Fine Arts team, we structured the project in a way that generated a creative platform for graduating seniors.”
According to Watson, one of the purposes of the exhibition is to showcase how art can bridge cultures and communities, as well as spark creative and culturally relevant conversations. As people explore the virtual exhibition, they will see the ways students observed and responded to the pandemic’s impact on their lives.
“This series of photos represents my life as a senior in quarantine, stripped from softball, prom, graduation, and many other senior experiences,” Alexandra Perez, Lamar High School graduating senior said of her work, Faith Over Fear. “While in quarantine, I realized that a lot was taken for granted.”
Explore the online exhibition, which is best viewed on mobile devices and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari, by clicking here. A video presentation of the project can be viewed online here.