As a tip of the cap to the quagmire that is 2020, artists embodied strength and resilience through their preferred medium in the University of Wisconsin’s Homecoming 2020 Art Showcase, now fully available online.

Alongside the art, the website provides detailed descriptions of each piece and artist profiles. Members of the UW community can vote on their favorite piece between 9 a.m. Oct. 19 and midnight Oct. 24 — the most popular artist wins a pair of Airpods with a Badgers-themed carrying case.

The trials of this year, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement, have had an apparent mark on our culture and how we relate to each other. The works in this showcase appear as a microcosm of 2020’s cultural and historical efficacy.

Pieces in this year’s gallery provide striking, poignant messages— from the insights gained from an artist’s personal trials and tribulations, to quarantine reflections, to a call for action or transparency around various global issues. 

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An interesting trait we can see is the use of high contrast and vivid color in many of these pieces, which adds emotional intensity. This exhibit encapsulates fear, uncertainty and worry, but also anger and triumph, which come from an inner reservoir of strength. 

The artists employ a variety of mediums — paint on canvas, sculpture, photography and film to share with us their personal definitions and experiences of resilience. 

Through sharing their pieces, the artists also invite the audience to think about their own experiences and feelings during this past year. Perhaps we can relate to them with our own stories of resilience and overcoming struggles.