Students from American High explain how the shutdown of art venues has affected their passion and creativity for art 

Neha Zope

Staff Writer

     It has been over a year. Be it being stuck inside their homes or not being able to explore the outdoors, the pandemic has taken away lots of opportunities from people. The recent shutdown of art studios and exhibitions is just another factor that has affected artistic students. 

     “I think now, just because the pandemic is starting to close things down now, I actually really want to go to these art exhibitions with friends. I think the fact that the whole pandemic has cancelled it out makes me realize what I took for granted,” says Tanya Kammampati (12).

     The shutdown has even affected those who are introverted and enjoy staying at home more. Senior Ashley Wu expresses the negative effects the pandemic had on her. “For me, [the shutdown and pandemic] gives me less opportunities to go out and actually do stuff. I’m already quite an introvert when it comes to strangers or going out and doing my thing in front of strangers. It gave me an excuse to just be a recluse at home. It’s really unfortunate because this year was really important to build my portfolio,” she states.

     While the shutdown did affect students’ abilities to further explore art outside their own homes, their productivity in producing art has improved during the pandemic.

     Senior Katrina Mina explains “I would say compared to now, I wasn’t that productive [before quarantine]. Now that I am staying home basically the whole day, now I have more time to focus on art and things I want to try. But I feel that it would be more nice and relaxing if I could go outside too.”

     Kammampati elaborates on how the pandemic helped her with her own struggle. “I think previously, before lockdown, I was less productive with art styles since I was more focused on my schoolwork. The fact that I was at school and at all these different places took up a lot of my time, and I wasn’t really able to focus on artwork. Now, because I’m spending so much time at home, I [can focus] on expanding my art style and I have also done a lot more works. I actually now have figured out my style, in terms of what my art style is,” she states.

     In contrast, Wu brings the cons of the pandemic to the table, explaining that “[Being inside] there’s so much art block being stuck in one place. You are not seeing the inspiration. Yeah there’s social media, but then social media also brings your mental stability down and you say ‘I wish I could draw like that.’”

     Art studios and the outdoors as a whole are great places for students to really dive deeper into the realm of art, so the shutdown has affected this aspect  heavily. However, with vaccines being implemented, there is a hopeful future nearing the reopening of these hubs. 

     Students explain that  these studios have helped them as artists through increased experimentation and a sense of relaxation.

     “Art studios are just a really great place where equipment is stored, you can go out and rent a couple cameras, a couple lights. It’s just a great place to go out and experiment with your work instead, because you can take great pictures outside. Studios really give that atmosphere that you are doing something important” Wu mentions.

     Kammampati also expresses how art exhibitions and studios can be a source of relaxation. “Art studios and exhibitions are really good places to hang out with other artistic friends, just to spend some time and relax. I feel with art shows and exhibitions, it’s kind of the type of thing you want to go with someone who you can be comfortable in complete silence with. I think the lack of communication is really important within human communication and with places opening up and the pandemic going down, I’m going to try and take advantage of that,” she says.

     With the summer approaching and  high-school seniors graduating, the next couple of months are just more of an opportunity to explore art, hopefully with the art studios and exhibitions slowly opening back up.

     “Summer already changes my mood a lot, it makes me feel happier, just because of the sun and no school. For me, it will inspire me to do a lot more stuff outside, since I’ve been inside so much. I want to go back to how we were in our childhood, that’s my inspiration for this summer,” Wu conveys.

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