Artists stay busy during pandemic


Arianna Myers-Arenth

Even though social distancing has provided unique challenges, artists are still finding ways to create.

By Zora Lotton-Barker, Copy Editor

It is clear that the mass spread of COVID-19 across all of America has completely changed the lives of Lawrence High students.

 Especially as Kansas has been put under a Stay-At-Home order which asks residents only to leave their homes for things that are absolutely essential, everything seemingly has been shut down.

One group that has been very affected by this pandemic is students and teachers within the arts and music. With school closed, many are left without materials they would usually need to work, such as ceramics and jewelry, for which very specific tools are essential in creating art pieces.

Ceramics and Jewelry Deena Amont says that the hardest part about quarantine has been the loss of her materials.

“For me, the hardest part is not having access to many of the tools I need, and that is frustrating, I do have a studio space at home, but I am not set up for metalsmithing and I only have a small space for clay work, but no kiln,” she said. “And, I sold my potter’s wheel a while ago, so I don’t have a wheel anymore. Because I work in space-consuming, material-intensive media like clay and metal, it’s a little more difficult.”

Junior Giovanni Ventello is a member of a local band, The Headaches, and has found the Stay At Home order hard because it has led to cancellations of shows.

“Quarantine has been hard for my band especially because we can’t practice, we can’t record new music, and all of our scheduled shows have been cancelled for the time being,” Ventello said.

Even though social distancing has provided unique challenges, artists are still finding ways to create.

Photography teacher Angelia Perkins said that the quarantine hasn’t really hurt her in the arts because she has been able to use multiple mediums to stay busy.

“Projects are always limitless for me,” Perkins said. “Once I finish something, I always have a huge list of what I want to do. As an artist, creating is what I do, so I have been photographing a lot. My styles of photography and image making involves dress up, sculpture, found objects such as rocks or bones, painting, drawing, sewing and more. My mind is complex and often simple photography cannot mirror my thoughts. Honestly I like it for my art because it forces me to stay in one place.”

Amont has several projects in the works and is trying to complete some projects from before quarantine.

“Right now, I am working on some jewelry designs that I hope to complete in the future, she said. “I also have a stone sculpture that I am carving by hand and working on when the weather is nice. I also have a bisque fired sculpture that’s waiting to be glazed. I am also planning to design and start a new quilt. I have the designs for two, but I need to order material online, so I haven’t started yet.”

Giovanni Ventello has used the time to work on his work as a portfolio photography student, as well as his band.

“ I am working on finalizing mixes as well as recording some new solo material,” he said. “I have been able to accomplish a bit more when it comes to recording and production work just because of how much free time I have now. I have definitely been working on art more than before the stay home order because I have the time but finding motivation is much harder nowadays.”