During this unprecedented fall semester, students like Lucy Adams ’23 are trying to find a new normal. For her, this means listening to podcasts, working on personal art projects and making socially distanced connections with other student-artists on campus.
As the Collegian reported in April, Adams created Quaranzine in the spring as a publication where students could submit creations of any medium to document their experiences during the era of COVID-19, which, after much anticipation, she expects to upload this coming weekend.
“It was a really fulfilling project to do,” Adams said. “I got a huge kick out of it and I was so impressed by the quality of the submissions that came in.”
The project demonstrates how students’ experiences of quarantine varied from March to July, both personally and over time. The process made Adams feel less alone in her own struggle with the effects of isolation during this time.
“I felt like I had a purpose and a community in a time where it felt really difficult to have that,” she said.
Quaranzine received over 30 submissions from students of all class years. Adams was particularly surprised by how many seniors, who have now graduated, submitted their work, noting their strong investment in the community despite being unable to finish out their last year on Kenyon’s campus.
Along with Quaranzine, Adams has also been spending her time working on a slew of other art projects this summer. One in particular, Beavertown, is a paper-mache town that she started to construct a few days after beginning to shelter-in-place. Named after her home state of Oregon — “the beaver state” — the project utilized garbage scraps, chicken wire, pieces of cardboard and paper to represent a large town. It features arches and domes as well as houses and an open-air gazebo, demonstrating Adams’ desire to make the town as multifaceted as possible.
The project took three months in total, but Adams was told to move the finished product to the garage or throw it away before going back to school. “My mom was like, ‘you have to do something about Beavertown.’” This resulted in her making a short film titled “the ascension of beavertown,” which she has since been uploaded to her YouTube channel. The video features close-ups of the project with an upbeat piano song in the background, played by her older brother. At the end, Adams throws Beavertown into the air, then zooms in on it one last time with the text, “goodbye sweet beavertown.”
Now that she is back on campus, Adams plans to take a break from the many clubs she participated in last year, and instead focus on using her free time to create. She had originally planned to be a studio art major, but has since changed to a studio art minor, seeing as, for her, art as more of a hobby than a career path.
Though it is a unique time on campus that some may find uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to, Adams uses art and other creative endeavors to keep herself distracted.