Art in the Face of Adversity

Written by Teah Sargent

For centuries, people have been creating art in the face of adversity, and this past year is no different. Woodgrove student artists are finding color and inspiration in a time that has been undoubtedly dull. 

The lack of physical instruction and materials was a challenge for many. Art student Michelle Chatfield says, “At home, I don’t have access to the materials I would in the classroom, and the differing environment makes it hard to focus and find good inspiration for art pieces.”

“Lamp by Michelle Chatfield” – Photo provided by Shawn Grove.

When describing the inspiration behind her piece, Chatfield says, It was pretty difficult to find inspiration for my foreshortening piece at first, because it can be hard to see opportunities in regular objects that you see at home every day. After looking at things from different angles and seeing the photo I based my project off of, I knew the lamp was the best choice.”

Woodgrove art student Maddie Jones says, “The current state of the world has definitely impacted my art; I think now that I have so much more time to create, I don’t worry as much about things being perfect. I throw my ideas down and then move onto the next and the next, and I like what I come up with because it doesn’t have that mechanical quality things sometimes get when you over-tweak. This past year, boredom has driven me to create the dark and weird and sad and ridiculous, which is fun because it reminds me that art isn’t supposed to be a chore.”

“Eggs by Maddie Jones” – Photo provided by Shawn Grove.

The inspiration of my foreshortening project really isn’t all that inspiring; we’d been waiting for our chickens to finally start laying eggs, and we’d gotten a few from one chicken by that point. I really only took a picture of it as a joke as though my teasing could make the chickens lay faster, but then I decided that I really liked the angle, and as I worked further, I liked how ordinary it was,” Jones says.

Olivia Keelor, another art student at Woodgrove says,This school year I feel like it is a little harder to find the inspiration for some artwork. Being in an actual art class with classmates definitely helps me stay focused and motivated. I’ve been in online classes with Mr. Grove; he is very helpful and pushes us to get inspired, even from home.”

“Shoe by Olivia Keelor” – Photo provided by Shawn Grove.

When describing the inspiration behind her piece, Keelor says, “When I was assigned this prompt, I immediately thought of having myself as the subject for my foreshortening piece, I also had an excuse to show off my new shoes.”

The past two years have challenged young artists’ drive, abilities, and inspiration more than ever. Despite this, the student artists at Woodgrove High School still find inspiration and opportunity in every moment. Whether at school or at home, young artists continue to create.

Artwork and photo provided by Mikhaila Czarnecki.

Artwork and photo provided by Mikhaila Czarnecki.