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Life During quarantine 22: Painting through the Pandemic

This week has been very interesting and if not a tad stressful. What’s going to happen in the winter with Covid? What to do about Halloween, for yourself and for your youngsters? Of course, on everyone’s mind here in the USA is what about the elections???

For me, the usual way to process so much uncertainty is to retreat to my creative side. Do I write? Do I draw? And with these next weeks focus here on hobbies, I thought I would investigate how some folks are painting their way through the pandemic!

Personally, while going to an appointment, I saw some furniture with a sign saying free. There was a well-crafted coffee table. My first thought was wow I think this would work well to put a poured acrylic design on top. I called a friend with such a workshop in my part of town at her parents’ garage. We discussed colors, got materials, and made some time to work on it. What joy! Then of course the weather got warmer, and hope to finish it this month! Taking that pent-up energy and turning it into a work of art is a soul gratifying experience. Let’s see what is in the news.

Downtown several huge murals cover plywood boards that protect businesses shuttered during the pandemic, as they reopen, those murals are coming down. “It was definitely, I don’t know, surreal.” The Tipsy Crow Director of Operations Nathan Colonero said it was surreal seeing a familiar place always packed with friends completely empty. As the pandemic wore on, Colonero noticed a change. “You could slowly see the shadow work its way over downtown,” Colonero said. Then he got a call from the Downtown San Diego Partnership. “I said well we aren’t looking to spend too much money right now while we’re closed. He said, ‘No, no, no, we just want to beautify downtown and put a whole different spin on it for anyone walking around.” It was an idea he could get behind. The partnership recruited local artists, including Pandr Design Co., to paint seven murals downtown between April 27th and mid-May. Some had inspirational messages, like ” Stay Strong” and “Things will be okay”.

“Now more than ever, I think people realize the importance of public art”

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects, it has had on the U.S. economy— unemployment claims as of this past week—artists have had to adapt as many projects have been canceled or put on hold. Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., found that 62 percent of artists were fully unemployed, and more than 94 percent had experienced a loss of income from the pandemic. López Chavez experienced these effects firsthand, and she’s had to focus on “whatever work will put food on the table.” But, she says, adapting during tough times is nothing new for an artist. “Artists are survivors who know how to mold ourselves to fit our needs,” says López Chavez, who is based in East Boston. “We’re used to solving problems with very little. ” As the sun shines through the 12-pane windows into López Chavez’s atelier, she sits at her desk and draws in her sketchbook or on her computer. Quarantine, although stressful, has given her time to think—about her art, and specifically, the role that public art can have on people. “Now more than ever, I think people realize the importance of public art,” López Chavez says. “It has this capacity to bring joy, to bring wonder, to bring a glimpse of hope when you’re outside during this time that is so challenging and difficult.” https://news.northeastern.edu/2020/06/24/heres-how-three-artists-are-creating-art-and-surviving-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Art is so often regarded as non-essential and frivolous, an indulgence reserved for times of ease and comfort. But for Singaporean student Ashley Tan, this global pandemic has highlighted the importance and centrality of the medium in all our lives. https://southeastasiaglobe.com/the-relevance-and-power-of-the-arts-during-a-global-pandemic/

In a survey about hobbies, Art came in 4th! There’s something about doing arts and crafts as an adult that makes us feel like a kid again. And there are so many projects to choose from. Maybe it’s learning how to knit with a monthly subscription box from Darn Good Yarn. Maybe it’s taking a watercolor painting class online at Brit.co. Or maybe it’s simply grabbing some markers and filling in the pages of an adult coloring book like the ever-popular Secret Garden, which features gorgeous hand-drawn pictures.

https://www.reviewed.com/lifestyle/features/study-15-most-popular-hobbies-to-start-during-coronavirus-pandemic

I also spoke to one of my clients that after retiring from a 30 yr. career around the start of the pandemic, picked up the paintbrush: This what he had to say. He would usually do some painting. The pandemic helped him find his focus and devote hours daily to artistic expression. As a result, his art is becoming his business!

So please remember that the arts express the soul of humanity! Thanks for sharing with me your experiences of life during quarantine! On a final note, from the United Nations:

With billions of people either in lockdown or on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic, this first celebration of World Art Day is a timely reminder that “art has the power to unite and connect in times of crisis”, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on Wednesday. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061802

Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBAhttp://www.designertastes.com/
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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