An example of art by Madalyn Wood that is part of the Art Trade. Submitted photo.

Community in Quarantine: Local Artists Start Art Trade

By Catherine Christine, Special to the Meigs Independent Press

It can be hard to fight off the isolated feelings that can sink in during quarantine, but one person wanted to change that and bring people together through art. Catherine Wolfe, a Meigs County native, decided to reach out and invite people to participate in an art trade. The only rules of the art trade were, if you receive something, send something. 

“I really wanted to find a way for people to be able to communicate and brighten each other’s days  while we are stuck at home that wasn’t just social media,” Wolfe said. It was important to her that people still feel connected, and felt a sense of normalcy in these strange times. 

Brandi Howard, another participant, said she was interested in joining the art trade because, “I like getting little trinkets and pieces of art from friends and local artists. This is a way for me to do that while also contributing my art into that.”

The trade currently consists of eleven people spanning three different states, however most of the participants are from the Meigs County area. One of the participants, Madalyn Wood, had this to say about the distance of the trade, “It’s neat to see all the different places your art is going to. It’s also neat to think about how we somehow know all these people even if they’re far away. One [is] even going to Alaska. What are the chances of that? Small world.”

Howard, also enjoyed sending and receiving mail from all the different artists involved and had this to say about how important it is to stay in touch in ways like this during these times, “I mean who doesn’t like getting mail? We are very online today. I have friends all over the country, and throughout the world. It’s easy to send a message on Facebook or Twitter. With this, someone sat down and made something for you. It’s nice not to feel alone, and have a little reminder of that.”

Wolfe says that was entirely the idea, to give people something to look forward to and get them excited to get up off the couch and go check their mail. “It’s such a more personal form of communication that often gets overlooked in our busy lives, but one that we can focus on more now. I think more people should take advantage of the simple postcard during quarantine, even if you’re not sending art, write a postcard to all your loved ones,” she said. 

The idea was also to give participants a creative outlet and make whatever they want, and it has sure done the trick. “I wanted something to give me inspiration. It can be hard to come up with art when you’re only doing it for yourself. Making something with someone else in mind can help you come up with new things,” said Wood. 

Catherine Wolfe made these magnets as part of the Art Trade. Submitted photo.

Wolfe’s final sentiments she wanted to leave with readers, “These are strange times in territory none of us have been before, but it’s important to make the most of it. Everyone deals with quarantine in their own way, but it’s crucial to stay creative and keep your mind busy while you’re at home. Also, if you have a way like this to stay in touch with family and friends, please do so, it’s important to remember we are all going through this together, and we will all see a brighter day together again before we know it.”