The fact that there was no catastrophic pandemic in recent history does not mean there won’t be another one. And we are certainly not prepared for the next pandemic. Bill Gates
History never looks like history when you are living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always looks uncomfotable. John W. Gardner
Art is Man’s Refuge from Adversity. Menander
If there has ever been a good time for art, it’s right now! There is a fear factor that comes with the novel coronavirus, distinct from our yearly adjustment to the flu season. Cases are being diagnosed, while the death toll increases. Our suspicions are being confirmed that, from this time forward, we need to factor this in our future plans. There is no vaccine for this infection. People die from the disease, and, although mostly this is in a smaller percentage of the population that is both of advanced age and with other chronic diseases, it can cause severe infection and even death in those “otherwise healthy.”
If there has ever been a good time for art, it’s right now! We are living through an unprecedented time, which we know is “history.” And yes, as John Gardner aptly described it, it is confusing and messy. Other than not being able to go out to eat or to exercise at the gym – two avenues for leisure, there is an ever-growing list of cultural event cancellations, including concerts, museums, and art exhibitions, that really dealt a finishing blow to artistic expression during this time of social isolation.
Or has it?
Fortunately, under the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic lies the seed of art germinating. We are all grappling with this shared experience. Art has always been a wordless voice for challenged times, often carrying a stronger impact in its images than words. Whichever tool or media that is chosen, now might actually be the best time for art to flourish. Art is both social and individual. Not only does a finished produce offer an image that communicates to the greater society, it is a method of expression and processing that liberates stress and worry. In our shared moments of self-isolation, art may be the ingredient to make this experience a retreat into discovery enlightening both the artist and society.
If there has ever been a good time for art, it’s right now!
Coming soon is an E-book that discusses how art is mapped in the brain, the neuroscience of creativity, and how it serves as both communication and therapy – for both artist and the viewers who interact with it. The book will showcase some of the art submitted in the recent contests, offering a glimpse to how COVID-19 has influenced art.
Some of the artists will describe their personal relationship with art, as a form of therapy and expression – a process by which their minds can form images out of thought streams. They will share some insights that will be beneficial for readers to consider taking that first step with the paintbrush or coming back to it.
In life, there is only one way to progress — by doing it, whether it is fishing, writing, sports, an instrument, or making art.
Cody Wolfman Johnson