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'Don't let this hinder you' | DC artist capturing coronavirus on canvases

Local artist Demont Pinder to host virtual art shows to help people connect with their creativity during the pandemic.

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. One DMV artist is trying to capture those changes in real time.

In his basement, pulsating canvases line Demont Pinder’s walls.  

"It still seems unreal. Us, as artists, we're able to document history in a vibrant way," he said.

With each brush stroke, Pinder tells a story. He has himself lost three family members to the coronavirus. But even though it’s been a heartbreaking experience for his family, he’s managed to honor their memory through his art.

"This is a way to kind of, like, taking the negative situation and making it positive inside my own space," Pinder said.

He is trying to capture the raw emotion of our new normal. 

"I want to bring light to a situation so any places that I paint, it may be a dark subject, but hopefully the palette and the colors that I use and the tone of the canvas, it brings some type of joy, a sense of joy to whoever’s looking at it," he said.

Though this wasn’t his plan, the stay-at-home orders have created the time he needed to figure out a way to team up with others.

"It is very important for artists of all genres, collaborate right now, because we are the entertainment for this rough time," Pinder said.

To do that, Pinder is sharing his gift through virtual art shows on Instagram. 

"This gives everybody the time to be creative with themselves, find themselves. I always say, create the space that you want to live in. For me, I'm an artist. I want to create a gallery," he said.

The financial future for Pinder is uncertain, and while that does bring him some worry, he’s ultimately more concerned with staying true to himself as an artist.

"You can’t stray away from what you’ve actually been called to do. Don’t let this hinder you," he said.

Pinder has a virtual art show on his Instagram Thursday at 8 p.m. Watch it here.

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