Portfolio > Beyond Two Dimensions

Original Collage
18” x 24”

After the nightmare of the Covid pandemic became less intense and order was returning to society, Marcy McChesney started thinking about the challenges that everyone had endured in one way or another and how they had adapted to a new world of uncertainty. The pandemic had interrupted the daily routines, careers, comfort levels and well-being of many, and provided an opportunity to reevaluate their priorities. Some individuals flourished and took this opportunity to utilize their creativity and determination to pivot to a different field and higher quality of life. She was interested in hearing their stories and creating art based on their experiences.
Thanks to a City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture Individual Artist Grant, Marcy was able to turn this idea into a full scale project.
She began to interview San Antonio individuals whose lives had shifted dramatically during Covid, resulting in a positive change, including career, living situations, relationships and priority shifts. She commissioned San Antonio photographer Deborah Keller-Rihn to photograph the subjects, and then she created collages based on their photographs along with images specific to San Antonio and their individual stories.
The exhibition will feature the collages along with their accompanying individual stories.
There will be an interactive element to the exhibition, where people are invited to share their own Covid experiences. Marcy plans to continue her project, creating more collages based on others’ stories.

Penny’s Story:
In December 2019, I rode home from a 6-week sojourn through Southeast Asia on China Eastern Airlines. I had a six-hour layover in Shanghai before facing an empty flight.
As the crow flies, Shanghai is about 400 miles from Wuhan, epicenter of an epidemic. Four hundred miles is just about the distance between San Antonio and Marfa--but Wuhan has a population of eleven million and Shanghai is home to over 28 million, whereas San Antonio has around one million people and Marfa has less than two thousand. It seemed to me, after the fact, that my catching COVID-19 from any one of these congregate millions of people during my six-hour Shanghai layover or even on that empty flight home was entirely plausible. 
After this Asian adventure, I resolved to devote 2020 to the writing of a piece of feminist neo-mythic fiction, entitled ERASING ODYSSEUS. As it has evolved, I’ve died—presumably stricken with the Coronavirus just as a pandemic is poised to hit an unsuspecting U.S.A. I completed the manuscript at the end of 2022. It chronicles 2020, the core year of Covid, through the eyes of the daughter I never had.
Who’d have known we’d all be sequestered and self-isolating in 2020, so during my couple of Covid years I developed a full-time writing practice with live-writing accountability sessions on Zoom with other women writers from around the country.
As the experimental ERASING ODYSSEUS piece has proven unpalatable for publishers to date, I decided to work on something more audience accessible: Since the turn of 2023, I have been developing full-time an appropriation of Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT called ALIENA. ALIENA is told from the perspective of Celia rather than from Rosalind’s leading lady point of view which the comedy has classically followed. The two seventeen year old girls have been imprisoned their whole lives on a northern Mexico drug cartel ranch. A rape instigates their escape. They become asylum seekers, crossing the border into the U.S.A. developing coping mechanisms including a UFO abduction, manifestations of non-binary love and Vegas-style chapel weddings as Las Vegas becomes their Forest of Arden.

In May 2024, ALIENA advanced to the second round of the 8th Annual Launch Pad Prose Competition.

The Launch Pad Prose Competition has led to more than a dozen books published, projects set up at AppleTV, Showtime, and with companies that include Scott Free, Michael De Luca Productions, Platform One Media, and Laura Dern’s Jaywalker Pictures.

A sequel, ALIENA EN SANANTONIOLAND, is underway.