'Remarkable Presence': Artist Memorializes Arizona COVID-19 Deaths With Obituaries-Turned-Art

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 11:44am
Updated: Monday, February 21, 2022 - 11:30am

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Jen Urso
Jen Urso.

Since its impact was first felt early in 2020, COVID-19 has caused dramatic shifts in how all of us work and go about what had been our daily routines.

But the strongest effect, of course, has been seen with how many people have become deeply ill or have passed away because of the virus. And when the tightest restrictions of the pandemic were in place, loved ones often weren’t allowed to visit sick relatives or friends in their last days.

Artist Jen Urso closely observed how that reality prevented the vital human connection and the sharing of emotions and life stories.

Urso was going thru something very similar at the time as her sister was dying of cancer.

In response, she created "Remarkable Presence," a project that combines obituaries and pop-up paper suitcases.

The Show spoke with her to learn about the project and how it came to be.

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