What an incredible experience. Gorgeous, meaningful and creative. What a powerful medium – these images hit you in the gut and stick with you. Thank you for doing the challenging work of diving into COVID, listening to stories and painting these experiences.
—Epping, New Hampshire
I loved it! Engaging and moving, gave me a pause to process everything. I was crying by the end of the movie.
I tend to doze off watching film. But I loved how I felt compelled to want to keep watching. I was completely engaged.
—film critic, Lorenzo Vigil, Exeter, New Hampshire
It’s been so good to think about this topic together.
I was touched by the amount of work Jonalyn put into this project, how she navigated all the different obstacles in each phase.
—Orange County, CA
This was fascinating. It ignited all kinds of memories and stories for me. Thank you!
Speaker, author and painter, Jonalyn Fincher shares the 40 minute film walking you through her Saving Lives gallery.
Only ticketed members will be granted access to the virtual gallery experience.
Yes, Jonalyn is available for live events, provided it is within her timeframe, before she launches into boat life.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for her availability.
Press kit available here.
Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home and Coffeeshop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk as well as her books on grief, her devotionals on Easter and Christmas, and her video Bible study can be purchased through her Author page at Amazon. Find most her books and her video study at Zondervan.
No one wants to revisit COVID. We are all happy to move forward into the new normal. And yet, we all bear marks from those years. How do we talk about those marks without anxiety strangling us? How do we gently awaken to what we have done to each other without shame twisting our stomachs?
As an author, words welcome me into a safe, happy place. I have written books that healed me from past trauma. I have written sermons to teach audiences how to heal from spiritual abuse. But to process COVID, I found paintings could reveal what words could not. Painting the stories permitted me to plumb a deeper well of understanding.
And what did happen to us? Our language reveals it, “When COVID hit.” We often mean punched or slapped as the lockdowns and bewilderment sliced across our lives. In 2019, I was living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with my husband and two sons. During the COVID years, we moved to New England and tried to find a new community. With my training as a historian, I studied the impact of COVID in these two regions, as well as in California (where I was raised). I began to paint what I saw.
I noticed many stories missing from the public narrative. These people honored me by sharing, and then permitted me to paint their marginalized stories. If you listen, you’ll hear from real life people. These are the scenes I would paint on my walls and teach my children to understand the COVID years. I admire them as samples of the thousands of unsung and unseen heroes who endured shaming, dismissal, cancellation or termination.
During COVID this slogan inundated all of us, “Masks save lives.” I decided to rely on the image of a mask as a metaphor for these years and all the regulations that came with them. After 20 years of non-profit work, I’m confident that telling our stories saves lives in ways masks could not.
“Saving Lives” reveals the stories of what happened, not what should have happened. This exhibition is not complete. I continue to listen for unrepresented stories. You can hear my call for stories in my Instagram reel here. And “Saving Lives” will conclude with a space to write or draw more inspiration for paintings.
I hope all who come will allow these pictures to remind them of their own story during the COVID years. I created this exhibition as an invitation to consider how much important reflection work is still necessary if we are to heal and move forward from the corona years.
How much does a mask weigh? Masks were easy to put on. Nearly all of us knew what it felt like to wear one. We all knew the slogan, “Mask save lives.” We heard our neighbors telling our children when they weren’t wearing their masks properly. We learned the types of masks that were better than others. And we masked up.
What did we gain by wearing a mask? We have heard that narrative.
What did we lose by wearing a mask?
Did the mask’s purpose shift from protection to obedience? Was the mask necessary for our children? What about grandparents and their grandchildren? How was mask wearing harder as time passed?
Are we brave enough to ask and sit with the answers?