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Students Respond to Coronavirus with Art 

click to enlarge Clockwise from top: Pandemic portrait by Gus B. of Edmunds Middle School; Winooski's virtual art exhibit; photography by Ella F. of Burlington High School; Coronavirus character by Cassidy P. of EMS; Starry Night Virus art by Jesse F. of EMS; "Break Free and Bloom" by Hawa M. of Winooski Middle School; "Colorful Town" by Sherihan A. of WMS
  • Clockwise from top: Pandemic portrait by Gus B. of Edmunds Middle School; Winooski's virtual art exhibit; photography by Ella F. of Burlington High School; Coronavirus character by Cassidy P. of EMS; Starry Night Virus art by Jesse F. of EMS; "Break Free and Bloom" by Hawa M. of Winooski Middle School; "Colorful Town" by Sherihan A. of WMS

Despite school buildings being closed, young people all over the state have continued to express themselves creatively. This month, local educators shared some of their students' impressive work.

Winooski Middle School art teacher Emily Jacobs used the online platform Exhibbit to create a virtual exhibition featuring more than 120 works of student art. Exhibbit is often used by professional artists and museums, who pay monthly to display their work. The company donated most of the virtual space for 30 days after Jacobs reached out to them. "Given that in-person gatherings are not an option right now, I wanted to utilize an online platform that would most closely mimic the aesthetic and flow of moving through a professional gallery space," explained Jacobs.

click to enlarge Clockwise from top : Drawing by Ana S. of Burlington High School; "Circus" by Xavier P. of Winooski Middle School; toilet paper coronavirus art by Mirium R. of Edmunds Middle School
  • Clockwise from top : Drawing by Ana S. of Burlington High School; "Circus" by Xavier P. of Winooski Middle School; toilet paper coronavirus art by Mirium R. of Edmunds Middle School

Judy Klima, art teacher at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, shared some of her students' pandemic-related art. As part of a photography project, students took self-portraits with items that gave them comfort and represented the current moment, taking inspiration from the work of professional photographer Gregg Segal. Klima also asked students to visually respond to questions including, "Can science be beautiful?" and "Can times like these offer us powerful lessons?"

Students in Burlington High School's City & Lake Semester class collaborated with Burlington-based artist Mary Lacy to create "Window of Hope," an exhibit documenting students' experiences and emotions through the pandemic. "Making art is a powerful way of documenting an experience and telling a story. It is a way of remembering," said Lacy. "My hope is that this collective project can serve as a time-capsule representation of what the quarantine was like for students in our community."

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