"Prettyboy" by senior Olivia Chilelli.

Color in quarantine: how COVID-19 has affected artists (SLIDESHOW)

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the art industry, though the severity of its effects varies among artists. 

Getting art supplies has been a challenge for artists like junior Jesus Aispuro. He makes stencil and spray paint art but as a minor, he cannot order spray paint so art teacher Andy Cunningham lends him spray paint to use.

“Mr. Cunningham has been really cool about lending supplies to students,” Aispuro said. “It’s still hard because at school I had so many colors to choose from, but now I just have a small box of spray paints.”

Finding surfaces to spray paint is also difficult for Aispuro. Before quarantine, he primarily used the plywood boards in the art classroom.

Getting materials and continuing to produce art has not been a challenge for junior Sicily Schroeder. 

“I had most of my materials before quarantine started, so I haven’t had any issues,” she said.

Schroeder also gets most of her supplies from online retailers like Amazon. 

While obtaining supplies has proved to be a challenge during COVID-19, the quarantine also has its benefits.

Junior Lilah Shorey is thankful for the quarantine because it has given her the time to create more art. 

“In the last semester of last year, I was extremely stressed out, and I was so sad because I had no time for any of my hobbies,” Shorey said. 

This summer was one of her most productive in regards to creating art. To support the Black Lives Matter movement, Shorey, Schroeder and junior Sanjana Anand did art commissions.

Shorey said she felt apprehensive about going to protests because of the large number of people. Instead of protesting — which could put herself at risk—she raised money while staying indoors by selling commissions. 

Shorey delivered the commissions by mail or driving directly to the customers’ houses and leaving them in the mailbox to avoid unnecessary contact with people. 

She ended up making 17 commissions during the summer, and the group raised over $1,400 for BLM.

Shorey’s BLM commissions were successful, though the same can’t be said for artists who make a living off their work. 

“Art is always hard to sell, and the economic stress felt during these times makes it more difficult for people to spend discretionary income,” Cunningham said. 

Gallery shows now take place on Zoom. Artists also feature their pieces on websites or post images on social media to bring more attention to their work, Aispuro said.

"Nun" by junior Jesus Aispuro

"Paper Bag" by junior Sicily Schroeder

"Plant with Plants" by junior Lilah Shorey

"What'd I Miss" by Shorey

"Scrutiny" by senior Olivia Chilelli

"Prettyboy" by Chilelli

"In the Streets with Brains and Masks" by art teacher Andy Cunningham

"tones of Blue" by Cunningham

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— By Lauren Lu

Originally published in the Oct. 20 edition of the Octagon.

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