The early days of the pandemic, when we creatures of social habit were forced to retreat to our rooms and ourselves for long periods of time, inspired art about identity, isolation, disease , change and much more.
“At the start of the pandemic, I was a different person than I am today,” writes Ava Thorsen, a sophomore at Hillsboro High School.
Art has become a balm for many people during these difficult months, whether they are consuming it or creating it.
“Drawing helped me relax and unwind,” writes fellow Hillsboro sophomore Joey Brawner.
Ava, Joey and other students from classes taught by Hillsboro art teacher Briana Burtsell have created their own artwork about COVID and its life-altering impact.
Some of that art is featured on this page, along with Ava and Joey’s written reflections on their pieces and the emotions that went into making them.
Ava Thorsen, Grade 10
“At the start of the pandemic, I was a different person than I am today. The pandemic has completely affected my life, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse. One of the main things I struggled with during the pandemic was to be alone with myself Not having a break in my own thinking made me realize how much I was struggling mentally and physically and how the events of the past affected me. affected. Through this, I learned to take care of myself, and I learned to give myself grace. Getting diagnoses and understanding how my body works led me to a type of self-acceptance I had never known before. It took a long and painful process to get here, but I finally used the new knowledge of who I am and who I want to be to build the person, the space and the life I want. I am so much more at peace with myself than before and I know s overcoming difficult times.
“Although I gained a lot emotionally this year, I lost so much too. I barely got to see the friends I loved, and because of that, we drifted apart. I missed seeing my little cousins growing up, and I barely saw my aging grandparents. I lost many of the hobbies that made me happy, and I lost all the people I saw every day at home. school.During the pandemic, I felt like a shell of a person because most of what was important to me had been taken away.
“My artwork ‘Missing Pieces’ represents that feeling. It’s a white blouse with just its essential seams. I cut out everything that makes the shirt whole and made a face mask out of some of those pieces. The shirt can still be put on and worn; however, it’s not like it used to be. This shirt is about my life as all outside pieces of my identity have been removed by Covid. I was finally able to see who I was inside. inside because I was missing so much of the expression I usually relied on. My piece is a metaphor for that concept; without all the excess fabric you can see the seams that make the shirt what it is If I were to do a similar piece of work depicting how I feel today, the shirt would be much more complete, however, there would still be some way to go until it was completely back to normal.”
Grade 10 Joey Brawner
“My time warp art is about loneliness during the pandemic. The virus acts like a freezing spotlight and makes the person sitting completely alone. It’s also a parody of a scene from an anime that I love.
During the pandemic, to deal with loneliness, I was playing video games with my friends online, and we were hanging out that way. Art was also something I did throughout the pandemic. The drawing helped me relax and unwind.”
A student art gallery