Quarantined, Yet Transported Around the World: My At-Home Art Studio


Rebecca’s art corner in her room

Rebecca Kalimi '23

Coronavirus stripped a multitude of opportunities away from us this summer. Unlike activities such as traveling, some activities can be done from the comfort of our own homes. Many students enrolled in online courses in order to dip their feet into a new field, how, and I focused mainly on my artistic career. 

Over the years, I’ve tried to broaden my at-home art studio to make sure that I would always be able to explore different mediums and portray various ideas onto a piece of paper or canvas. Thanks to Ms. Rachel Rabhan, during the school year I experimented with mediums such as oil pastels and charcoal, and this summer I bought a brand new set of oil pastels to add to my collection of tools. I have also tried to be active in the Ramaz art club this summer. Ms. Rabhan used an analogy that I relate with. She says that us art students are in our own little space pods drifting away into various areas in space, but the art club gives us all a chance to touch base and combine our ideas into one open virtual space. 

In my artistic adventures, I usually stick with my trusted pencil as my weapon of attack, but this summer I forced myself on leaping out of my comfort zone. I veered away from pencils and graphite as much as possible. Instead, I experimented with paint. I have been attending an arts camp, Usdan, for many years, and there, I mainly focus on painting as my art form. Being away from my art camp this year was disappointing at first, but I think it was helpful that I was my “own boss” and checked in with Ms. Rabhan and the art club frequently. Exploring painting on my own for recreational purposes made it a lot more fun for me. 

I’ve been really interested in art ever since I can remember. For someone who has been doing art for as long as I have, it is surprising how small my creative and artistic space is, but I make it work. As of now, my artistic “studio” is in the corner of my bedroom with an organization shelf area and an easel. I try to stuff as many of my tools and mediums in there as I possibly can, but not all of it fits! I definitely cannot store all of my finished work there either. My family is planning on moving soon and my hope and possible reality is that I will have my own art room with all the necessary space for my creativity to roam. I’m thankful for the space I have now, but the more the merrier!

The isolation of quarantine and the lockdown has driven me to explore in colorful ways to brighten up my spirits. Being away from school and unable to physically spend time with my friends was depressing, but I, fortunately, was able to make myself feel better and more accomplished by reflecting my feelings onto the canvas. Art has become therapeutic for me. For example, I felt very overwhelmed and painted a handful of balloons in the sky in order to “float away” from my worries. Completing this piece not only made me feel more fulfilled, but showing it to my family put a smile on their faces, which in turn, put a smile on my face as well.

My art can also help transport me from the corner of my bedroom to anywhere in my imagination. Last month I painted a sunset in the woods and I felt as if I had been transported there.

Overall, My at-home art studio may be a bit small for my intentions, but, regardless, I get the job done. I can’t wait to create more and more work.