Pandema's Box Exhibition Captures Big Pandemic Stories

Inspired by the famed Greek myth of Pandora, Pandema’s Box, an exhibition of mixed media assemblages by Des Moines artist Mollie D Wallace. The exhibition is now on display in the Forsberg Riverside Galleries at the Waterloo Center for the Arts until June 19, 2022. The works, each created using found materials housed within vintage jewelry boxes, chronicle our collective experiences in the months and now years, since the COVID-19 pandemic was unleashed upon humanity.

Pandema’s Box comes from the mind of Des Moines artist Mollie D Wallace. Starting the series at the onset of the pandemic, Wallace assumed there would be just a handful of boxes and that the plague would be over by summer 2020. To date, there are now more than two dozen works in the series. Each deals with a specific pandemic related story or theme, from hoarding toilet paper to the great mask debate. Each story is told in miniature, and each piece was created in real time as the pandemic played out.

Wallace earned a degree in design and illustration from Pratt Institute. Her work can be seen throughout Des Moines and New Orleans in the form of murals, signs and merchandise branding. Wallace has designed everything from bike helmets and food trucks to guitars and Mardi Gras costumes.

A reception is planned for May 19, 2022 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Art Center, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Masks are encouraged.

The Waterloo Center for the Arts galleries, located at 225 Commercial Street, are free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00pm.

For information about this exhibition or other upcoming exhibits, programs, classes and events, call 319.291.4490, visit and connect with the Waterloo Center for the Arts via social media.