Art In Difficult Times

The Role of Art during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Adapted from an article by: Hali Hartley, Kara Haslett, Denana Ivankovic, Donovin Jones, Bridgette O’Neil

Just like the rest of the world, we at GGG have faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past 2 years. This article will illustrate how our services and artwork have tried to bring joy for our clients during these trying times. Art has been used throughout history as a form of expression and 

Art as a Coping Mechanism

Living through a global pandemic is not something many people are prepared for. Being given strict state and federal mandates on how everyone must conduct their lives, especially indoors, in order to be safe, gave us all some extra time on our hands. For some artists, this extra time allowed them to process their feelings into powerful artwork to help cope with the constant uncertainty of the virus and unpredictability of the world.

Artist Ellen Paquette described the changing process of her creations due to Covid-19 as:

With the warmer weather finally upon the Erie area, the tone of art has changed to reflect the brighter, warmer season. Emily Ernes, Glass Growers Gallery owner, mentioned when asked about the change in production of art due to the Coronavirus, “following our different artists, the spring art is becoming more positive and brighter due to the more positive news being released about Pennsylvania and its Coronavirus policies/regulations.”

(Collage from our spring show promotions)

Therapeutic Effects of Art

Art is a therapeutic mediation for artists and a calming escape for observers. Glass Growers Gallery supports Eries’ local artists and craftspeople by providing a gallery space for their works as well as a shop for the public.

“With the shop, more people feel the environment is more serene, calming and peaceful during this time.  Some [of our customers] work at the hospital and use the gallery as an escape from their stressful work environment,” said Emily Ernes.

Glass Growers Gallery wants to be able to help others in these uncertain times through our products. We strive for a gallery environment that is open and inviting. Our goal is to spread creativity and positivity through our social media accounts, follow us if you need a smile during the day!


Our current exhibit captures a serene tone and emotion, we want to exert peaceful energy to our clients and customers as we have faced a troubling past year.


Art Has No Age Requirement


Given the hardship of the pandemic, people of all ages have turned to art as more than just a hobby. This notion brought more pieces to display and stories to tell. Not only is the gallery an outlet to view how others are handling the stress of the pandemic, but it also shows the wide array of people much different from one another coming together to create something beautiful.

Emily emphasized the gallery’s recognition of the importance of painting your life, and not limiting this to a certain age group or type of art. There are currently people of all ages contributing their artwork, who all take a different perspective on one theme. “Our current exhibit is fairly serene. We’re embracing the serenity of nature and the promise of renewal that comes with the season in our spring show,” Ernes stated.


Benefits of Art Therapy


Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, help with self-esteem and self-awareness. Art therapy also has been found to help cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflict and distress, and advance societal and ecological change (American Art Therapy Association, 2018). Throughout history, records show people have used pictures, stories, dances, and chants as a ritual for healing. Cancer patients use art to help express their experiences that are hard to put into words (US National Library of Medicine National Institution of Health, 2010.) According to Michigan State University research showed that art therapy helped reduce pain, decrease symptoms of stress, and improve quality of life.

Some ways you can try art therapy at home are to draw or paint your emotions, create a sculpture of your anger, draw in sand, draw a place where you feel safe, or draw all the positive things in your life. There are many things that an individual can do to participate in art therapy. If you want more ideas, especially now during a global pandemic, visit

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