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Students turn to art amid pandemic to cope with boredom

Ashlyn Talcott, a junior double majoring in management and finance at Westminster College, painted an outline of a woman’s body on top of an ombre sunset of yellow and orange. Talcott said she is very big on women’s power and femininity and used those ideas to inspire her artwork. (Photo Courtesy: Ashlyn Talcott)

Westminster College students faced a dramatic change at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March. Many students found themselves with a lot of spare time and some used it to become more artistic. 

Ashlyn Talcott, a junior double majoring in management and finance, said she has become more artistic than ever during the stay-at-home guidelines encouraged in Utah at the onset of the pandemic. 

“I became more artistic over quarantine just because of the excessive amount of time that was available,” Talcott said. “My job and school were being postponed and I just overall had a lot more flexibility with my time.” 

During this time, Talcott worked on several projects from small laptop stickers to fully painting her bedroom walls.  

“Towards the beginning of quarantine I felt like I got more into art just because of the amount of time I now had but I feel like towards the end of quarantine it was more of an outlet for me,” Talcott said. “It was calming and it got my mind off of everything hectic going on in the world.” 

“It was calming and it got my mind off of everything hectic going on in the world.” 

Talcott said her favorite piece was a painting using her favorite color palette which included a lot of warm colors, like orange and yellow. Talcott said she went with this color palette because she felt those colors lifted her spirits while socially isolating — and they gave her an overall better energy. 

Lainey Squicciarini, a junior majoring in elementary education, also said she became more artistic early in the pandemic. However, Squicciarini’s art focused on quick sketches and drawings she completed digitally and on-the-go. 

“I definitely did become more artistic over quarantine, but I was also traveling back and forth a ton, so it was a lot harder for me to start on bigger projects,” Squicciarini said. “So a lot of what I did over quarantine was just really small and digital pieces of art.” 

Rather than placing a pen on paper, Squicciarini said she used mobile apps to create art while traveling. Because her iPad was something she always had with her, it was “the most logical way” to pass the time, she said. 

Because Squicciarini’s art was more digital than physical she said it represented the larger shift of society moving online for school and work during the pandemic. For example, many Fall classes at Westminster are being taught fully online or hybrid. 

Squicciarini said she was inspired to create art amid the pandemic because it reminded her of the things she could still accomplish while staying at home — keeping her mind off the things that were put on hold. 

Although the world faced a huge change that quickly changed students’ lives, many reported finding an artistic outlet in order to cope with what they were feeling and going through.


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Mekenzie Deneault is very outgoing, positive and full of energy. Mekenzie is both the storm and the calm afterwards. She is also very picky in all regards toward food -- a true food critic.

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