Artists Adjust to COVID-19 Changes


Hannah Perry, Arts & Life Editor

Upon entering the SSA, something about the building isn’t the same. Studio drawing has replaced the computers in the Mac lab, which have been relocated to the art gallery. The ‘nest’ of furniture that provided a space for students to collaborate is spread far apart, making the space appear more desolate than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only altered the building’s visuals, but also the activities that go on inside. As the semester has progressed, students and faculty have had to adjust to several changes.  

In all classrooms across BVU’s campus, professors are required to stay within a taped-off box that separates them from students. Restricted movement has led to lecture-style teaching, something that is abnormal in some classes. This modification has proven to be a struggle for professors such as David Boelter, Professor of Art, who would rather be able to move around and interact with students on a personal level. With the addition of masks in classrooms, Boelter has noticed how the connection with students is limited.  

“One of the things that works the best within any art course, because of the nature of the work, is once there’s a trust level built up between you and the student, then you can have an honest conversation about what they’re making,” Boelter said. “It’s harder to do that now because you can’t see emotion on faces. I’m sure that it’ll get easier, but it’s the little things.” 

Historically, art students have been able to go to the SSA to work on their projects at practically any time they pleased. This year, the building is being routinely locked up, requiring academic assistants to unlock studio spaces. This presents a challenge to those who were used to working on their own schedule.  

“For higher classmen art students, we’re having to spend so many hours in the classroom doing these things, and yet we can’t,” junior Tatianna Kelly said. “The window for doing them is so small that by the time our last class is done, we only have maybe an hour or two before they go lock it up.”   

Studio time isn’t the only thing that has been taken away from students due to the pandemic. The future of art shows is currently uncertain as visitors are not

 allowed on campus and the gallery is occupied with computers and a makeshift classroom. These factors specifically impact senior artists who look forward to showcasing their work.  



“The senior art show is a staple and a requirement for those in the art department, but right now I don’t know if people are going to be able to do their senior shows the way they want,” sophomore Korina Bodisch said. “Either way, the show itself will be changed until we are out of this pandemic, if not forever.” 

Despite the modifications and challenges students have faced within only the first few weeks of classes, those in the art department have faith in the ability of their professors to make the best out of the situation.  

“Dave, Mary, and Bryd are doing the most to give everyone their classes and to have them reach their fullest potential,” Bodisch concluded.