Mid-Pacific artists create as an outlet for their feelings during the pandemic

In this piece created last year, Mid-Pacific artists have done paintings, photography and poetry to express how they feel during the mandatory stay-at-home order.

Danika Kusumoto, Staff Writer

Artists at Mid-Pacific have continued to create as a way of expressing themselves in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. Visual artists are using household items to illustrate their feelings, digital artists are producing artwork as a way of processing what has happened, and photographers are recording their experience through assignments specific to these times.

“My eyes have finally opened to a deeper meaning of photography beyond the big objects and the picture,” said senior Kerrin Lee.

She put together the art package featured at the top of this story, collecting different pieces from a few seniors expressing their emotions during this time.

“I think artmaking is a great catharsis to process what’s been going on,” said Digital Arts Teacher Jennifer Goya.


Digital Photography Teacher Alison Beste said this unprecedented pandemic is the best time to express what we are feeling and thinking through art. She assigned her students a project titled the Covid Chronicles asking them to document this experience through flat lay photography.

“My hope is that the assignments provide an opportunity for students to tap into what they are feeling, express complex emotions, and ultimately learn from the experience,” said Beste.

A New York Times article discussed how today’s artists are using this unpredictable time to create something new and unexpected, providing readers with stunning examples from various artists.

Another article from the NYT highlighted people entertaining themselves with social media challenges, listing a few of the most popular ones.

Art teachers have made certain changes in response to going online, adjusting how they lead class.

Goya said she uses her class time to discuss the students’ artwork and introduce the next prompts.

“The conversation is tailored more towards their concept and what they’re trying to communicate,” she said.

Goya said she has also changed their workload and tries to be more flexible with deadlines.

“Everyone is having a different experience, so I’ve been trying to address each individual student’s request,” said Goya.

Digital and Visual Arts Program Head Jill Johnson said she creates tutorials on drawing that her students watch together during class which takes the place of a demonstration she would normally do in person.

“We find different ways for me to give them feedback and help,” said Johnson.

She said in the next couple weeks they are going to start sharing the quaran-teen imagery the kids have been making.

“I am a firm believer that the creative arts are a powerful mode of self-expression and discovery,” said Johnson.

On the other hand, some students struggle to create during these stressful times.

Senior Gaia Hittle said she has been having a harder time creating because of everything going on in the world, but she has found different methods of producing art.

“It’s been a nice way to get in touch with my technical skills and still be creating art at a time when I don’t feel super inspired,” said Hittle.

Hittle said she was set to attend art school this fall but it may transfer to being online, and she doesn’t think online schooling is a very conducive way of teaching art during a foundation year.

“Some things can be studied online, but I don’t think art is necessarily one of them,” said Hittle.

Additionally, artists have limited resources while stuck inside.

“We are doing the best we can within the new technical limitations,” said Beste.

Students in Johnson’s printmaking class have been utilizing tools at home to produce their own pens.

“Some of the best art comes from times and places when you don’t have access to all the resources that you need,” said Johnson.