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Using Art to Explore Life in the Time of COVID-19

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The assignment “Life in the Time of COVID-19” was a visual response assignment for the Grade 7 IB Visual Arts students that provided a way to express how they have been feeling recently as well as a way to end the year. 

It gave them the chance to reflect while continuing to challenge themselves artistically. The students in Ms. Elaine Kao and Ms. Jennie Greven’s art classes had the choice of creating drawings, paintings, assemblages, collages, or a piece that used a mix of different media. 

“We created this assignment because we wanted to give students a chance to think about how life has been altered, what they learned was important in times like these, and think about how they could express these thoughts, ideas, and feelings through visual arts,” said Ms. Kao. “We also recognized that students were exhausted and wanted to offer an assignment that they could engage with at a level that was comfortable for them.”

Some reflections that were apparent in the artwork included missing friends and extended family members, or participating in sports and club activities. Many students noted how the environment seemed to have recovered and hoped that people would be mindful and continue to take care of the world. 

The goal of this assignment was to give students a chance to develop their skills in a medium of their choice as well as learning how important art is in the learning process. 

“I hope students begin to realize the power that art holds either as a tool for them to process their thoughts privately, or to express feelings, opinions and ideas to the greater community,” said Ms. Kao. “It’s not easy and it’s almost always a messy process, but I really hope they will keep ART in their heARTs!”  View the Grade 7 visual responses here