Art in the Time of COVID-19

Everyone can agree, it’s a weird time. We’re sheltering-in-place, hunkered down in our “home offices,” working from home (for some of us) and trying to find ways to entertain ourselves because staying at home clearly isn’t held within our DNA anymore. At least not for 10 days straight.

So, artists have taken to the interwebs, sharing what they’re doing and how they’re staying creative during this time of, shall we say it, crisis.

We’ve seen the likes of BroadwayHD offer a seven-day free trial, Willie Nelson, John Legend and more giving concerts from their home living rooms, and DJs across the nation start dance parties for their audiences watching from their own screens. Even Jimmy Fallon has made the Tonight Show work from home with interviews and all.

We know we’re also using technology for “as real as we can get them” social gatherings, like happy hours, home cooking and conversation. The sudden surge in folks working from home has made Microsoft, Google, Slack and Zoom step up their game.

And due to the sudden digital switch, many local artists are taking a lesson and switching to accommodate the virtual audiences looking for entertainment on social media.

Jose Alfredo Guerrero, entertainer and educator, recently did his first live stream concert from his living room titled “Unplugged (& Unprepared): Live, Desde Mi Sala” and brought in a total of 1.7K viewers, “which is probably more than I could’ve fit into a bar,” he said via Facebook messenger. “As a musician, I’m used to having weekly gigs –sometimes up to five gigs on very busy weekends. I wanted to be able to stay connected to my music-making and to our audiences, and hopefully provide a bit of entertainment and levity during this time.”

As someone who is used to seeing and being around people, Guerrero says that he feels that this is definitely a time that is changing how we connect.

“As we redefine what connection means, and reconsider those things we’ve taken for granted, we are also realizing the power of how much we want to stay connected to one another,” he explained. “That yearning to connect and stay connected to one another, is going to make the end of all of this all the better.”

Guerrero is planning another concert on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Be sure to get the reminder below.

Join me in my living room from your living room (or bedroom, closet, fave quarantine corner, lo que sea) mientras nos…

Posted by Jose Alfredo on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

From a visual perspective, Sam Kirk, a painter and muralist, recently shared a post that featured coloring pages she created on her Facebook page. Not only did she mean to share these for children who aren’t in school right now, but also for parents, giving the family something to do together.

“The pages I shared highlight different cultures and include some of the spaces and activities we enjoy in our cities. One of them has a focus on individual/community strength and power – I thought it would be good to share this one in this moment to remind us to work together,” she said in an email.

Like many others, Kirk has many friends and family in the medical field, who she says, make it easy to stay home when you realize the risk that they’re taking every day. For now, she’s says, she’s focusing on herself.

“I’m taking this time to be creative, rest, focus on self-care, while checking in on my loved ones across the world,” she said.

Look for more creative elements coming soon from Kirk on her Facebook page, Instagram and via her newsletter.

KEEP YOUR CREATIVITY FLOWING!While we are quarantined and spending lots of time at home, it's a good time to bring back…

Posted by Sam Kirk on Monday, March 23, 2020

When it comes to arts and crafts, there are many artists sharing their ins and outs and behind the scenes. Naomi Martinez, also known as Monstrochika, has been doing live videos on the daily, teaching beginners how to sew cute little projects like pin cushions, needle books and pocket creatures. She announces classes on her Instagram page that can vary from needle point to paper doll creation.

“I really got inspired by another friend in the art community. Jaqui Arte that has been doing painting live sessions,” Martinez said via Facebook Messenger. “Even though I didn’t have the proper equipment I figured out a way to do it. That’s our DIY skills working.”

For those of you who might’ve missed the opportunity to follow along on her sewing projects on Instagram, you’ll have the opportunity to follow along on Facebook Live staring Monday.

Monday 10 am: Hand Sew a Needle Book
Tuesday 10 am: Hand Sew a Pincushion
Wednesday 10 am: Hand Sew a Pocket creature
And each class will be available for 24 hours if you miss it live.

Remember that art projects are a fun way to spend time with family, and even a great way to connect to something that isn’t necessarily digital.

Find time to support the artists and watch and share their work, but also remember to make time for you, disconnect and focus on self-care.

If you know of any other live streaming events that you want to share or ones that you’re hosting yourself, please leave a comment or chat us up on our social networks!

Written by Christina Elizabeth Rodriguez-Estrada

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