When Kurt and I began photographing our fellow Lexingtonians from 6 feet away on March 16 earlier this year, we had no idea we’d still be doing this 7 months later. We didn’t anticipate months of social distancing, mask-wearing, and limited contact with others to catapult us into a fall of rising infections, distance learning, and festivals that unfold over Zoom. Back in March—and April and well into May—we told everyone we photographed about our vision for this artwork: how after the pandemic ended, we would throw a big party to which everyone would be invited! At this party, we would enjoy doing all the things we so desperately wanted to do (but knew better) during our socially distant photo encounters and lives: we would hug each other, share food, and catch each other up, leaning close in (because there would be so many of us and it would be so loud at this party, you’d have to get very near the other person’s ear to be heard). Oh, and we would show all the pandemic photographs we’d taken—this would be an exhibit-turned-community-celebration like you’d never seen before! It would probably take place in August or September (2020)—or so we thought back then. As our pandemic summer stretched into days with ever-growing positivity rates, we no longer talked about this vision. To be completely honest, we kind of forgot about it, the end near impossible to imagine. And so we began work on an online exhibit to get us through the fall. Thanks to Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, we are preparing to launch a virtual multimedia exhibition of 60 of our photographs. It opens on Monday, October 26. Because this is Election Season, we asked the folks in our pictures to describe the America they’d like to live in, seeing how elections force us to consider what truly matters to us as we get ready to vote. We trust the responses we’ve received will bring you hope—just as they’ve lifted our hearts during the last few weeks of listening to them. In the meantime, we are sharing 4 photographs from our early days of photographing, images we haven’t made public before. May they remind us where we’ve been and help us discern the path ahead. #TeamKentucky #TogetherKY


Gabriela: “I feel like I’m almost in an abusive relationship with DACA—where

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g.g.: “I look for whatever inspiration I can find, in whatever way

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Lexington in the Time of COVID-19 is an artwork about people practicing social distancing at a time of a deadly virus. And also offering kindness.

Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova capture photographs at the periphery of American culture, where drag queens, discarded couches, and abandoned motel signs exist.