People turn to art


Ariel Gill-Ehrenreich

During this time at home due to the coronavirus, everyone needs some form of entertainment to keep their mind occupied. Many people turned to movies and television to curb their boredom.

When we think of who we should thank in times of hardship, the mind almost always immediately goes to first responders and people in the medical field. Of course, these people are the number one priority because of the skills they have been building all of their careers for a time like this, a world-wide pandemic. They are the life-savers. That being said, it may seem scoffable to shine a light on those in the entertainment industry during the coronavirus. However, ask anyone around you what they have been doing during quarantine, and the chances are they will say they have been watching Netflix. In this digital age, film and online entertainment is everything. Entertainment in general, though, has been important in every age.
No matter what time in history you look at, no matter where in the world, a common pattern can be seen during struggling times. People have always turned to artists and what they create, and to creating art themselves. During World War I, soldiers often created what is now commonly known as “trench art.” Shell cases were frequently turned into small flower vases, leaves were turned into embroideries, and some soldiers even formed ‘trench orchestras’; making instruments from battlefield debris. In both world wars, reading material was in heavy demand at all times. Sitting in trenches for hours on end, soldiers were desperate for whatever book or magazine they could get their hands on. The same is true today, just with the addition of modern technology that offers instant entertainment at our fingertips.
Having to adhere to social distancing which does not allow us to go out and do what would usually keep us entertained, such as school, team sports and just being with friends, is already hard enough. On top of that, to take away the only thing keeping most of us sane, that being movies, TV shows and literature, would make this time nearly unbearable. If that sounds like such a disturbing thought, it seems odd that few think to honor those who create in times like these. Entertainment is vital to everyday life, though few of us take the time to consider that.
Yes, it is easy to neglect art during periods of imminent threat. Our attention is turned outward, toward what could hurt us and those we care about. The most definitive thing about art, though, is that its importance becomes so much greater at these exact times. It is turning inward and reflecting which allows us to process and let go. It is a way for people to channel all the emotions they are feeling— anger, sadness, desire— into one form that can be shared with others. It is not only healing to the creator, but to those who are able to experience it.