Local artists have continued to adapt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Boroondara artist Michael Meszaros shares his story of resilience and an on-again off-again retrospective.
It is no secret our arts and culture scene has been hit hard by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions over the past 18 months. Boroondara’s arts and cultural venues have at times had to close their doors, with exhibitions, events and programs moving to an online format for the benefit of the local community and to ensure artists could continue to showcase and share their work.
One particular example of resilience through trying times is the story of Michael Meszaros, a local resident and artist whose career as a sculptor spans 50 years.
To mark this special milestone, Michael’s latest exhibition was formed, destined for Town Hall Gallery at the iconic Hawthorn Arts Centre.
50 years as a Sculptor celebrates Michael’s career as a full-time, self-supporting artist, showcasing a number of his well-known public works throughout Melbourne, Australia and internationally. Working primarily in bronze, fabricated copper and stainless steel, his work includes portraits, relief sculptures, exhibition sculptures and his particular specialty, medals.
“The exhibition reflects something of the range of work I have done using many styles, techniques and materials. I enjoy working in different ways and have never tried to consciously create a signature style,” Michael says.
Due to COVID-19, restrictions on movement often made it difficult for Michael to get supplies and meet presentation deadlines. Further, Michael’s exhibition was scheduled for display at Town Hall Gallery during 2020, however it had to be rescheduled to 2021 given the lockdown restrictions in place across Melbourne last year.
“COVID-19 has been a challenge for many artists,” he says.
Melbourne’s most recent COVID-19 lockdown meant that 50 years as a Sculptor was only open to the public for a number of days before Town Hall Gallery and Hawthorn Arts Centre temporarily closed, based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
“The arts are an important part of people’s lives,” Michael reflects. “Not being able to go to exhibitions, performances, movies, concerts and festivals has impacted people’s lives.”
As a response, Boroondara Arts has proudly assisted in delivering an online version of Michael’s exhibition through video and photography.
“A large number of people have told me that they really wanted to see my show, so having it published online was a big help,” Michael says.
He hopes that as restrictions begin to ease, our local community will continue to get behind the arts and reconnect once more.
View the exhibition online at 50 Years as a Sculptor.
Boroondara Arts continue to deliver a curated collection of exhibitions, performances, workshops and screenings, like this month’s community exhibition Outback by Lyn Guy.
Visit Boroondara Arts to find out what’s on.