The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic will have upset the entire planet. The cultural sector has also suffered greatly when we talk about the cancellation of several festivities and shows or the closure of cultural buildings. But let’s not forget the artistic sector! Although the subject seems to go unnoticed, the impact of confinement on our artists is far from invisible and for some, it is the main livelihood that is affected. For others, it's the perfect time to focus on their project and take the time to let inspiration guide them through this period.
Local artists and artisans represent our values, our identity, our history and our communities. It is easy to forget them because they often work in the shadows. Their works are found on the shelves of our shops and are often purchased without taking the time to know the artist. Their works are found on our shelves or our walls and our guests, frequently, pass in front of them without knowing the author of these. Yet, beneath each work is an artist or craftsman who, often unknowingly, looms large in our communities.
Containment has forced millions of people to lock themselves in their homes, also forcing a large number of businesses recognized as non-essential to temporarily close their doors. This includes art galleries, exhibition centers, tourist shops, local markets and many others. What some forget is that for many artists, it is their income that is affected. Although intense emotions often give way to moments of pure inspiration, this is a real blocker for some.
In other situations, confinement stifled the inspiration of artists who found it outside. This is the case of an artist, partner with So-Local, Michèle Andrée Lemieux. Usually, she is inspired by musicians at work to paint her canvases. Obviously, she can't really do it anymore and confided this to me; “I miss my muses very much. I force myself to paint but the heart is not there, nor the energy. Being locked up can be very suffocating for artists who are inspired by what they discover. Whether it's new faces, new landscapes or new sensations and emotions, inspiration often comes more easily as a result of various discoveries.
On a more positive note, the confinement will also have allowed other artists and artisans to focus on their arts. Lack of time being often a problem, the fact of being with oneself and having to fill the time in various ways, has allowed many people to embark on arts and crafts projects or simply to take the time to continue, refine or even finish them. Taking a spin on social media platforms, it's beautiful to see that so many people have taken the time to let inspiration guide them through this pandemic. Many people, understanding that life does not revolve around "metro-work-sleep", have decided to discover new passions and connect with their artistic facet, giving way to an impressive emergence of talents once buried by everyday life.
The objective is to highlight our local artists and artisans and with this event, it is more important than ever to be aware of their presence and their importance as well as to support them.
Finally, the lockdown will have had a big impact on artists and artisans in our communities. Some people live it more easily than others, the pandemic will certainly have taught us things about ourselves as well as about others.