Pewaukee High School art students create hope journals in quarantine

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Mia Bolyard

Mia Bolyard, junior art student at Pewaukee High School, creates art for the hope journal assignment to show her gratitude towards service workers on April 30th, 2020.

Starting on April 27th, 2020, drawing and painting students at Pewaukee High School have been keeping busy during quarantine by making hope journals.

Each week, students are given a new prompt and a skill that they are required to work on for their artmaking during that week. For the first week of creating hope journals, the prompt is creating art revolving around something you are grateful for and the skill you need to work on is rendering (layering).

Jeanne Bjork, art teacher at Pewaukee High School, thought of the idea of having her students create hope journals each week to not only reflect on their artwork, but to bring hope and encouragement to our current Coronavirus situation.

“There has been a lot of bad feelings about what’s going on,” Bjork said. “I decided during break that it was really important that we, instead, focus on the positive.”

Doing weekly hope journals has allowed the art students to not only express their creativity, but to take some time to focus their attention towards their art rather than on the Coronavirus pandemic. Creating hope journals can help bring some lightness to these dark times as well.

Creating art at home during these times can be extremely difficult for students because many are not able to go outside of their homes to get the necessary supplies and materials they need. The hope journal forces students to compromise and work with what they have at home to create original artwork.

Before the hope journals, art students were creating projects for an assignment called, “A Day in Your Life-Art in the Time of Quarantine.” This project helped spark students’ ideas and create artwork to help them prepare for the hope journal prompts.

After students are finished creating their artwork for the hope journals, they are required to post them to a Google drive folder so that the classmates can view each others’ artwork. This allows the students to get inspiration for future hope journals and it also gives them a hopeful outlook during quarantine.

While coping with quarantine, it is likely that people may have feelings of loneliness, sadness, anxiety, stress, or even boredom. Feelings such as these are normal\; however, hope journals act as an escape to our current Coronavirus situation we are dealing with and allows students’ creativity to shine through. As a result of the Coronavirus and being in quarantine, hope journals will provide hope for the future.

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