COVID-19 Exhibit to Run Through May

An origami exhibit displayed on the Loras College campus remembering the nearly 10,000 Iowans who have who have died of COVID-19 will end its run on May 31.

“Folding Cranes/Enfolding Community” is an intricate exhibit by artist Pam Douglas of Clive, Iowa featuring one paper crane for each Iowan lost. Many of the cranes have hand-written names of Iowans who have died of COVID.

“I felt a profound call to address this collective loss — both tangible and emotional — through creativity, choosing to make origami cranes, inspired by an earlier sculpture I have incorporated into All Saints Day and All Souls Day at our church each year,” Douglas said. “I wanted to convey that these Iowa deaths were not just a statistic — they were people who loved and were loved.”

The exhibit has been on display at the college since September and has been the center of programming and conversation to reflect on the impacts of the pandemic. A Day of the Dead/All Soul’s Day gathering provided the opportunity to look back upon the last three years, with some participants realizing how much they hadn’t reflected and needed to and some desiring to move on. The gathering culminated in the creation of a living art piece of a cross now being displayed in different areas of campus. Participants were invited to pin a flower onto the cross signifying the new beginnings and hope.

“Folding Cranes/Enfolding Community” is open to the public and can be viewed in the Miller Academic Resource Center third floor atrium.