New York’s museums, galleries and outdoor exhibitions are starting to reopen, and this has many curators pondering the role of the visual arts in a crisis and whether they are an escape from or a reaction to the state of the world. “Art is how we express, how we feel anxieties,” said Sally Tallant, the president and executive director of the Queens Museum. “It’s how we can touch on things that are too difficult to touch in other ways.… Art does so much good for people’s mental health.” Current exhibits in New York feature a tribute to service workers, an exploration of racial injustice and Americans’ different reactions to crises, among others.

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