With Westminster College currently being fully online, art students are taking extra time to perfect their work and come together in the community by communicating online and praising other classmates’ artwork.
Harris Wright is a senior art student graduating in December who runs an unofficial art club called Westminster Art Crowd.
“When I talk to people in my club they are all saying how much time they have now to work on personal things,” Wright said. “Seeing people I know sell things and their pieces and also seeing artists I do not know on Instagram they are doing whatever creative thing they can to sell, make money, and get products out there.”
During this time of uncertainty with jobs and finances, it is not unusual for people to take advantage of the ability to sell things online.
“I have an Esty shop online and I do a lot of digital art that I sell because my weekend job no longer needs me,” Wright said.
Artists also have the opportunity to still support and critique students and different artists on campus through their online class communication.
“In my classes, we can see what other students are working on just like how it would be in person by using face-to-face communication,” Wright said. “We place our photos of the current project in the Google Doc and everyone has been super accessible and we get to interact and support each other.”
Summer Huddleston is a graduating senior getting her bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis on painting and drawing.
Huddleston has been taking advantage of the extra downtime and said she utilizes her free time to explore more of her artistic abilities.
“I would say I am creating more and it’s been a lot more at-home sketches and activities for the classes I have, and it has taken me outside a bit,” Huddleston said. “I was creating and painting with the inspiration of the movement with the wind and being able to mess around more and explore.”
The art community has come together more, according to Huddleston. She said she feels like everyone is supporting their independent business and creative ventures that artists are taking. With everyone online, there has been more of a platform for artists to explore their own personal journey.
“I see even musicians have been more creative in their own abilities and coming out with solo songs and creating with that independently,” Huddleston said. “There has been more posting because they have the time to individualize themselves.”
A surge of support throughout the Westminster art community has gotten the attention of students. One of them being Jerica Bird, who is a junior majoring in fine arts with an emphasis in studio arts.
“I know the seniors are doing a good job supporting each other and Harris Wright has done a lot for the community and is getting a gallery space for us on campus to present our final projects,” Bird said.
Bird has also seen an incline of internet communication throughout her friends to keep everyone entertained.
“A lot of people are posting different art challenges to keep people in the headspace that this focused in art and still making it a priority but having fun with it,” Bird said.
During the online adjustments, the Westminster art department is taking this time to explore within personal creations and expand their own businesses online while also managing to stay interconnected within their classes and projects.