The pandemic has been a major source of a sometimes overwhelming sense of uncertainty. Art has allowed us to communicate when we’re far apart, generating positivity, gratitude, and hope during the trying times of COVID-19. It’s a way to free your mind and express your emotions when life has left you stuck inside, limiting your interaction with others. We’re all going through it so why not try to communicate it through art, where we’re allowed to channel our problems and uncertainty and even hopes and dreams into something beautiful and meaningful.
In times of social injustice and unrest, art amplifies important voices and messages. Saito High School used art to document their experiences or simply to create something that might help them express how the pandemic has made them feel. The great art exhibit at Saito High School was a wonderful experience for not only the people who attended but for the artists as well.
The artwork at the exhibit was made by student artists at Saito High School and some work was kindly provided by artists from Painted Brain. Painted Brain is a non-profit organization the advocates for mental illness through the arts.
One student named Monica Tejeda had a lot to say about her artwork that was put on display. She had an image that expressed something she went through because of COVID-19, and that was actually going to the hospital. The image shows a hospital waiting room with a man sitting down, tired and exhausted, probably working a long shift at the hospital. There’s also a woman lady in the back, who is afraid to even sit next to the man because of the fear she has of being around people. This is an excellent representation of the disconnection we experienced because of COVID-19.
Student artist Jason Rodriguez chose a picture of lights and a nice view outside. He mentions how COVID has affected him by showing him to appreciate the little things in life more. When everything started to close down everyone started to feel like there was nothing to do he discovered fun in just looking outside and enjoying the view by himself. This made him open his mind more which was a good thing.
Student artist Melinda Plascencia at first thought that the pandemic was a real drag because she likes to be out and about on her own terms. For her art piece, she showed a bunch of different colored spray cans that are used for graffiti art. This is a hobby she left behind but came back to during the pandemic. Not only did this hobby keep her entertained but it also helped her bond with her older sister since they are also on the creative side and enjoy graffiti art.
Another student artist named Jason Mendoza had a photo of shoes in a circle. To him, this defined friendship because he made a lot of friends at his job during COVID-19. Student artist Andy Perez had an image of a cat because he had to get a cat so he would have someone to take care of during the pandemic.
Student artist Jason Margarito said that the pandemic affected him in many ways. One way it affected him and all of us was having to wear a mask everywhere, even when being around family. His image of him with parrots, wearing a mask, expressed the community he was missing because of COVID-19. Student artist Andrew Jimenez had an image of his window because that’s what he had to look at every day. COVID made him stay inside and away from people.
Student artist Emilee Santos did a charcoal, pencil, paint, and coal piece called “Irrevocable”. The definition of irrevocable is “not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final.” Age is a clear example of something that is irrevocable. On the right side of her piece, she chose to depict a woman with an expression of resignation who is watching the process of aging without being able to stop or slow the process. The image she has on the bottom shows a human signaling silence because death is linked to silence. To say this is an interesting piece is an understatement.
Emilee Santos also did another art piece. The title of the color pencil artwork is “The Essence of Life”. She wanted to create an art piece that depicts the embodiment of life and its creation. She chose bees because plant life comes from pollinators, such as bees. When she thinks of bees she thinks of honey, hard work, and the diversity of exotic vibrant flowers, which inspired her to use bright colored pencils. This is another very interesting piece.
Student artist Jaelyn Elder did an abstract art piece. For her painting, she used acrylic, watercolor, chalk, and oil paint to see how everything would look together and to show how her emotions are.
Student artist Rosario Meija did a stacked twist coil pot with the word self-love written on the pot. She said she chose this word because during the pandemic she struggled mentally. She decided to cut off people in her life who were just draining her good spirit. This led to her finally cutting off a toxic relationship. She instead chose herself and wanted better. She is now starting to love her mom, body, and life again. These are all examples of her self-love.
The art exhibit at Saito High School was a big success. It brought together a vast number of people who were able to view and enjoy the great artwork done by the students of Saito High School and Painted Brain. It shows so much positivity that came during the pandemic. The art wasn’t only a way for the artists to cope but was a to express themselves. The beautiful thing about art is that it’s a personal voyage that can bring light to any situation. The Saito High School art exhibit showcased and celebrated the talented artists involved.