A querencia is a place the bull naturally wants to go to in the ring, a preferred locality… It is a place which develops in the course of the fight where the bull makes his home. It does not usually show at once, but develops in his brain as the fight goes on. In this place he feels that he has his back against the wall and in his querencia he is inestimably more dangerous and almost impossible to kill.”
The mission of the Art History Undergraduate Association is to encourage undergraduates in shared interest and passion for art by connecting them to fellow students, art institutions, and local art events. AHUA's annual art show provides an opportunity for both artists and art history students to showcase and develop their talents. Originally planned as an in-person exhibition for the Spring of 2020, this show and its context drastically shifted with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our exhibition theme, Querencia, considers the relationship between physical spaces and identity, power, and safety. As the quarantine began, the concept of home became unstable and fraught for many college students suddenly caught between local campus residences and family homes, many facing housing insecurity and exploitative rent termination fees. Public spaces such as the college campus became inaccessible, transforming from safe and familiar spaces to areas of uncertainty and risk. Many of the artists in this show respond to the conditions of the pandemic, reflecting on returns to childhood hometowns or their new relationships with online spaces. Their works reflect shared anxieties and hopes during a period of uncertainty, loss, and separation. Threads of isolation, nostalgia, found families, and connection wind through the artists' artworks and stories, joining us across space and forming our own Querencia.