Local Feature: Episode 520

See how area artists have responded to COVID-19.

AIRED: July 02, 2020 | 0:09:29

- Welcome to ARTEFFECTS.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many different businesses,

communities and individuals.

Our local artists were hit hard during this time.

With many galleries, shows and events being canceled

or closed, many of their incomes disappeared.

But their desire to create remains strong.

Let's learn how artists continue to create art,

not only for themselves,

but for their community as well.

(soft music)

- I am a professional artist,

and I'm quarantining at home

and my home is full of paintings

because the art shows I had scheduled were cancelled.

- There's something so valuable about having the live space,

the face-to-face interaction, the kinesthetic empathy.

That's really important

and I really miss all of these places in Reno

like Acro Enso and the Loft

and Flux Movement Lab where we can dance together

and create together.

And I think people really need that and miss that.

- It's in the silence and it's within that time

to meditate that you actually become more creative.

So I've had a lot more ideas over the past two months,

I've written a lot more

and my passion to actually create something

has definitely grown over the short amount of time

that we've been forced to be alone.


- Art is really a historic trail of the stories

that are gonna be told about this time.

I mean, art comes out of situations like this,

and tragedies and hard times,

and I believe that the arts will tell a story

of what is happening right now for people in the future.

- I have seen lots of artists respond to this

in different ways.

I have seen artists hold raffles or sell art,

to fundraise for relief funds

and give back to those in need in the community.

I think through sharing their art,

artists are helping connect and uplift.

For example, the Drakulich Foundation For Freedom

Of Expression has turned from making paper

out of old military uniforms

and they've hired veterans to make masks,

some from those recycled military uniforms.

- We have produced over 1700 masks so far

and are excited to say that many of those

have been donated to underserved communities.

We also make orders for businesses

to help them get back to work.

It's really special to take the military uniforms

and use them to protect citizens.

And this is what they look like.

And they're very handsome and well made.

As you can see, they're easy,

they're comfortable, they're light.

You can try them as tight as you want

or hang them like so of airring.

And then they just slip right down over your ears

and you can go about your business till you need it again.

And it is wonderful for veterans

and myself to remain engaged

and productive during this difficult time

of social distancing.

It helps us to keep our art resources alive

and well so they're ready when we can get back

to making art as a community again.

(soft music)

- Covidance-19 is a way for dancers to create something

in their own home with a roommate, a pet,

you don't even have to be a dancer,

just movement and then create something,

send it in via a smartphone

and release one dance every 19 days.

And of course the quarantine's lasted longer

than even 14 days,

but it was just really awesome

to see what people came up with.

People were dancing with inanimate objects,

tweety bird had a moment, there were contact improv parties,

there was dancing with themselves or walls or floors.

And in light, it was just really lovely to see

what people came up with and how they tied,

oftentimes what they were dancing with or to,

with what they were going through

and how they were dealing with the quarantine

and everything that's going on right now,

which is highly volatile

and extremely changing, and inconsistent.

And there's a lot of gray area.

None of us really know what's going on.

(soft music)

- During this time, quarantine has just really been,

I guess, more creative, I think, working on new projects.

Me and my family,

we had the opportunity to go up the role

of Milton elementary school

and paint a mural for all the kids in school.

A lot of the kids probably haven't seen it yet,

but hopefully it's something

that really brightens their day

and gives them a smile

when we're finally able to go back to school.

(soft music)

- Okay, so since some of my art shows were canceled,

I've decided to sell my artwork online,

in an auction format.

And all of that money is going to local charities.

Something else that I've done,

since we've been quarantined,

is make a coloring book about the quarantine

using animal puns and color-your-own postcard set.

And these whales say,

well, it looks like we'll be together for a while,

that was one of the puns.

- I think something that I've really learned

during this period of time, is how capable I am.


Film is something that takes an army to create.

And I think that when you're forced to create

something on your own, or you want to create something

and you only have your roommate there,

you become more creative in how you're gonna go

about making that happen.

So I think that it's definitely been encouraging for myself.

To be like, oh look, you actually know

how to do all these elements

and you can do 'em pretty well.

And that shouldn't restrict you in the future

to create something if you've only got one or two people.

(soft music)

- Art is a connector,

whether it connects people to each other,

or makes us feel less alone when we see something,

or read something or listen to something

that speaks to us.

It's an expression of the human experience,

an interpretation of the world around us.

We need that connection now.

Public art has always served this purpose,

and it's still accessible during this time.

Unlike galleries and museums, which are closed,

there's still access to our public spaces.

So the public art collection is available

to anyone at any time.

It serves to create a sense of place and community,

to connect, inspire and transform.

(soft music)

- This quarantine period, and this period of isolation,

has definitely shown people the importance of art.

Because we are now forced to get down to the core

of who we are because we're alone with ourselves.

- It brings out the creative side.

When you're stuck in home,

there's something you can do.

You can always pull out pencils and pens and markers

and paint and create some.

And so it just gives you an outlet

to always be able to create.

- But you need art in every form.

People express themselves through dance,

through drawing and making pictures

and telling stories and art is the one thing

that is gonna bring us all together.

(soft music)

- We are resilient and creative, all of us.

And it's been super inspiring

and wonderful to see how people are figuring out

new ways to connect, often through art.

The arts will be a large part of rebuilding

and finding our new normal as we move forward.

(soft music)

- [Man] Funding for ARTEFFECTS is made possible,

by the Bentley Foundation, Sandy Raffealli,

The June S. Wisham Estate,

Kate and Richard Kenny,

the Nell J. Redfield Foundation,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by..

(soft music)

(exhilarating music)


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