Using Art to Help Cope


Stephanie Manuele, Guest Writer, Art Teacher

Art has been used to document difficult times throughout history. Pablo Picasso painted the infamous Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The large oil painting was Picasso’s interpretation of the war, depicting the unfortunate casualties and suffering that were being endured. In Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World, he depicts his neighbor Anna Christina Olson and her inability to walk due to Polio complications. Artists use their work to document the world around them, state opinions, and to offer distractions. 

How are you using art to help you get through the Coronavirus pandemic? Maybe you are using art to provide some relief. Being isolated from your social life can help reveal your true self and true feelings. You could also use this time to make a statement. Create a piece that reveals your feelings about the pandemic. 

Artists are already beginning to create work depicting the state of our world. Los Angeles artist, Hijack, made his statement about the pandemic in his spray paint work showing two soldiers fending off the virus using spray bottles and cleaning supplies with backpacks stocked with toilet paper. Miami artist Sean Yoro, created his spray paint Coronavirus wrecking ball to illustrate the devastating impacts the virus has had on populations worldwide.

Instead of seeing this time as a burden, see it as time you can dedicate to your artwork. No distractions from your friends, nothing else to do, but create. Whether you create work to distract from or depict what’s happening around you, use this time in isolation to make art. Your art will help tell the story of today. What story do you want to tell?