Tri-C students using art to connect while social distancing
By Kait Berg
The forefront of all chaos in the world started in March with the shutting down of the entire county. These changes affected everyone’s day-to-day lives; but, more specific to the social aspect of life. People were no longer able to gather in groups, attend shows, go to school, or maybe even work. The numbers kept rising, the time to stay inside continued, and here we are now, remaining all virtual, all socially distant.
Earlier in the pandemic, Tri-C’s Creative Arts Department created a hashtag, #TriCCreates. I talked to Stephanie Metzger, one of the admins of the hashtag, to see what it is about! When asked about the idea for creating the hashtag, she shares, “The idea here was to create a communal opportunity for students to share their artwork,” she clarifies, “And not just for art students, but anybody, especially people at home.”
Art can release stress and allow for relaxation and pleasure by creating something of your own. Metzger stated their goal of this hashtag is to “create a sense of community”. While being stuck at home and spending time in our heads, it is essential to work on our mental health. When I asked some creators that shared their work with the hashtag, they had good stories on how art has helped with their mental health. Barbara Bergsten, an art student at Tri-C for about five years, shared, “Art is a touchstone. I have always found myself to where I need to be through my art”. She is currently taking online art classes on Zoom through Tri-C and shares regularly on the hashtag. Bergsten added, “I think the most important thing during this pandemic is to stay connected”. Art student, Audrey Sajovie, has also had positive outcomes from creating art to her mental health. Sajovie shared, “Art has become a positive outlet for me, and I’ve seen myself become more confident in myself as a result”. It is a principle to have confidence in yourself and do activities to help with that, so you do well in all aspects of life. Art student Jordan Clark-Banks, added, “Art has helped me through days where I felt low, and all I wanted was to make things that make me feel good.” These three artists have benefitted from creating and sharing their art.
#TriCCreates is a community that anyone can participate in. The hashtag is for artists of all expertise and art of all mediums. The most common art that is displayed are portraits, nature, and photography; however, anyone can add their creative mind! I asked what the best part of seeing others share their artwork is to Metzger which she answered, “It has been fun seeing all different kinds of artwork, a wide range of art. Not just amateur and not just art students. People have felt encouraged to share with others sharing”. Therefore, whatever your artist talent is, share on social media to #TriCCreates. Let us bring our sense of community a little closer, even when we must be so far away.