The best art created by Washington Post readers during the pandemic
Published On: October 14, 2020563 words3.1 min read
Color us impressed by your sharply tinted art in these trying times. The Washington Post recently asked readers to share artwork that they have been creating during the pandemic, and received more than 650 submissions. Art came from near (Washington and its surrounding states) and far (Germany and England, with a nod to Guatemala). The entrants spanned from tweens to artists in their 90s. And the choice of media included oil and acrylic, flowers, cinder blocks, a dryer sheet and hot glue.
The Post considered not only the quality and creativity of the art, but also the fascinating accompanying backstories. Enduring quarantines, some artists rendered what isolation and loneliness felt like, while others depicted longed-for social scenes from a pre-pandemic time.
Politics sometimes came into play — with one entrant cleverly adapting a stimulus check — and masks were a frequent feature. Some representational works transported us to a specific place, and some abstract works conveyed a distinct mood or state of mind. Some celebrated life, and some reflected a darkness or meditation on death.
Here are The Post’s favorites:
“I drew this after picking up groceries one day. As I walked around the neighborhood, I was heartened to see how people and small businesses were adapting. Even though we can’t socialize in the usual way, seeing everyone make an effort strengthens the sense of community I feel, and I wanted to share that feeling with others.”
“I’m a textile and fiber artist and have been trying to find the right creative response to this crisis. I sew everything by hand, so I didn’t think masks I make should be wearable. So I’m working on a series of them as objects, each revealing a certain truth about our times.”
“This painting is about endurance. Like no matter what you will go through in life, sometimes beautiful things can come from it. You can see a cement flower pot with a green plant growing from it, symbolizing growth from rough conditions. You can see the expressions of the faces of me and my brother — looking worn but yet still maintaining what’s normal to us. This painting is a symbol for my whole family. I like to show the inside and outside. Two black men and a soft color wallpaper background [make] things seem less intimidating. Sometimes I feel as a black man, we have to always be on guard — always ready to fight and survive.”
“Medicine has always been my first passion. And during these unprecedented, tumultuous times, it beckons me again as I watch helplessly from the sidelines now. Since my retirement as a physician, I’ve poured my creativity into art and poetry, so creating this kind of response came naturally to me.”
“I’m the cartoonist of an online newspaper in Spain, but I’m living in Kentucky. I saw the alarming news of the covid cases increase in New York, and tried to capture the feeling in a drawing of every day’s dawn transforming the sun into a virus that invades the streets.”