Sara Grace, Cooper, and Blake

Two young people are seated on the stone steps of a green home in front of a glass door with a bright red "E" while a woman with long dark hair stands to their left dressed in jeans and a tank top covered in colorful paint.

Blake: “When asked…‘How are you doing through all of this?’

I never know what to say. They aren’t really asking this question on a deep level. They are being polite. But I don’t have a simple answer. My real answer…I am All The Things. I am scared. I am worried. I am sleep deprived. I am in pain. I am trying to be the best mother I can be to 2 kiddos who are feeling All The Things too. A good wife to my husband who has been working around the clock on the front lines at Kroger.

I don’t want to leave the kids home alone even though they are old enough to be on their own. I need to protect them. I MUST protect them. I want to be there for the deep emotional moments. When they just can’t take another day in the house. When they need a moment in my arms to hold them and make it all ok like only a Mama can. So I have been home with them most days. I go to the studio when WIllie is off work and try to get a weeks worth of work accomplished in one day. We seem to be doing ok though. I don’t let Cooper and Sara Grace get too in their heads. I make them talk…feel…and move around in the sunshine.”

Audio Transcript

My name is Blake Eames. I am speaking for the Eames family: Willie, Sarah Grace, and Cooper. I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Been here for 49 years. And when I was of age to do so, I chose to live here.

So … what my America looks like.

In my America, a 40-hour minimum wage job actually would house and feed a family, where healthcare wasn’t for profit, where every single human being cared about mother earth, where greed didn’t rule our government’s decisions, where my children could be with their friends without risking their lives, where the color of one’s skin doesn’t equal a target for a bullet or a boot to the throat, where we could trust the police to do the right thing. And be grateful that I am not writing the laws because I would take all of your guns and melt them down.

It’s an America where teachers are royalty, an America where art, music, joy, laughter and peace are greater than gold.

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.