Artists often work in isolation, holing up in their studios for hours on end, but a new project mounted by New Haven\u2019s Yale Schwarzman Center (YSC) proves that art made off the grid during a pandemic can create bonds between participants. Available for online viewing through the end of the summer \u2014 possibly longer \u2014 is a virtual gallery called \u201coff the grid: projects for the moment,\u201d featuring eight works by 30 people, some working in collaboration. The exhibit includes pieces from students across Yale University, including the Divinity School, School of Medicine and School of Music\/Institute of Sacred Music. \u201cWe really wanted to see how this project would emerge and did not really have an end goal in sight when we started it, but once we reviewed all the work, we thought this is an incredible retrospective looking back on the year of the pandemic,\u201d said Carl Holvick, the center\u2019s associate director of stakeholder engagement. \u201cWe reached out to all of the artists and thanked them for their work, they reached back and we started conversations from there.\u201d The center had posted a prompt on its website asking students and the school\u2019s community members to submit art and media that explores how they navigated the social isolation during the pandemic, addressing issues like COVID-19, change, social injustice and the nation\u2019s racial reckoning. What resulted was a wide diversity of art and storytelling forms from spoken word and poetry to opera, dance, video and photography. Holvick was most struck by the far-ranging nature of the mediums represented. \u201cThat diversity of disciplines was one of the most exciting aspects of it,\u201d he said. \u201cThe pieces in this exhibit are inspired, reflective, hopeful and thought-provoking in ways that are uniquely personal and deeply relatable at the same time.\u201d One of the artists is Noah Humphrey \u2014 also known as Knowa Know \u2014 who created a video artwork called \u201cPicket Fences: Black Covid-19 Recollections.\u201d A Yale Divinity School student who attends school virtually from Hawaii, Humphrey homed in on themes of social injustice and racism, using the metaphor of a white picket fence as a blank canvas on which people see each other (across the fence) and tell their stories. Humphrey said he was inspired by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Iremamber Sykap \u2014 a 16-year-old boy who was fatally shot by police in Honolulu in April \u2014 and a friend who died from COVID-19 at age 21. \u201cWhat I wanted to target with these interactions that happened within my life was a center in which I could recollect and also build back,\u201d he said. The video Humphrey narrates deals with seeing people and the importance of knowing everyone\u2019s stories instead of judging them by the color of their skin. \u201cAs we go through this time of COVID, it isn\u2019t only an isolation of the physical health but also an isolation of humanity,\u201d he said. \u201cI want new ways to talk about these issues: new ways to say \u2018Hey, how am I going to talk to that police officer today, how am I going to talk to that Black Lives Matter protester today, how am I going to talk to that All Lives Matter protester?\u201d Being able to reach across \u2014 or through \u2014 a fence to know the person on the other side and to see what they have to offer is a motif in his video. By the end, he has painted his white fence black, and then a vibrant rainbow. \u201cYou paint the narratives you want on your fence, but don\u2019t forget to look on the other side as well.\u201d Themes of accountability, reliability and sustainability persist in Humphrey\u2019s work. \u201cThe accountability is knowing that there is another side; the reliability is knowing that you can be relied on, that your narrative is going to be heard in some way ... and sustainability is about having a story that lasts... having something that stands on the page, being able to not be rooted out by any source,\u201d he said. Andrea Valluzzo is a freelance writer.