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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Let your inner artist shine during self-isolation

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Self-isolation can be a drag for those who are only concerned with passing the time.

No, you can’t visit with friends at your favorite restaurant or go shopping at the mall, but there is still plenty to do in the comfort of your own home if you just use a little creativity — literally.

The Harrison Center, a nonprofit that uses art to enhance community engagement, has commissioned artists for a “Scenes from Quarantine” series the public can become part of.

The weekday art series will take place on social media. At 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, the Harrison Center will post a prompt chosen by one of its artists, along with an original sketch. Then anyone can get involved by creating their own sketch and sharing it.

Be sure to tag the Harrison Center (@HarrisonCenterArts on Facebook on Instagram, and 

@HarrisonCtrArts on Twitter) and use #ScenesFromQuarantine and #SocialDistanceArt.

The Harrison Center will share sketches on social media, and participants will be entered to win a prize.

Once it became clear the COVID-19 health crisis was going to cause major disruptions to everyday life, Joanna Taft, executive director of the Harrison Center, wanted to make sure artists could still thrive and the public could still have something to engage with.

“While this is a very difficult time for us and our neighbors, we truly believe that the arts are needed more than ever,” she said.

Artists have a unique way of seeing the world, Taft said, and this is one way to help keep everyone connected.

One of the Harrison Center’s artists, Jingo De La Rosa, is struggling just like so many other people. He’s an extrovert and enjoys being around people, so social distancing has been difficult.

Not only does he get to be part of the “Scenes from Quarantine” series, he gets to benefit from it like everyone else.

“It’s a good way to notice the beauty that’s within reach,” said De La Rosa, who lives at the Harrison Center. “We think of beauty as this massive thing, like you go out west to see national parks, but really there’s beauty within reach.”

De La Rosa also teaches at Butler University and said he tells his students drawing is not just an art form, it’s a tool to be used for anything: mobilizing people, giving directions or, in this case, staying connected to the world.

Along with “Scenes from Quarantine,” the Harrison Center is doing social distance porching, where community members are encouraged to stand on their front porch (or balcony, stoop, etc.) and simply waive to neighbors.

“I’m connecting with my neighbors in a different, meaningful way now,” Taft said.

Otherwise, the feelings of loneliness and being disconnected will only grow stronger.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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