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Artists create powerful pieces to take on pandemic

Artists on the First Coast are hard at work trying to express what the world is going through.

How have you been staying entertained during your quarantine?

It might be safe to say you've probably consumed some type of art. Artists on the First Coast are hard at work to express what the world is going through and create something meaningful and more powerful than a pandemic.

"We've got enough hand sanitizer and toilet paper to last a couple of years," sang Mark Stewart in 'Corona Blues'.

"We can be fearful," said musician Daniel Weikert. "But I want people to have a little bit of hope."

From 'Corona Blues' to painting masks over their work, artists are taking on the pandemic in their own ways.

"Even if you can't get out, I will bring the art show to you!" said artist Marsha Hatcher.

Some artists and musicians strive to be a bright spot, painting with vibrant colors and painting dancing figures. Others express the isolation and loneliness through sketches.

"They're all portraits," said artist Thony Aiuppy. "Like a lot of people I've been missing people."

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"I miss my friends, family in Japan," said artist Hiromi Moneyhun. "That kind of feeling, emotion is reflected through this drawing."

They each strive to create something that will in some way help humanity.

"As artists we get to communicate things to the world, to provide comfort, to spread awareness," said artist Kat Tarbet. "Something for the world to hold on to."

"A really great song came on and my daughter said, 'dance break!'" explained artist Cookie Davis. "Three of us got up, it wasn't pretty but we all danced and the next day I came out and I thought, 'okay, this is what I'm gonna do today.'"

That's when Davis created the painting "Get up and dance." Other artists are "protecting" their pieces.

"What better way to send a message was to put the mask over the art that I was doing," said Hatcher. "The message is 'stay safe.'" 

Their art is for both the viewer and the artists themselves.

"Working on my art I don't feel any fear," said Moneyhun.

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"We just go through life not thinking about the intimacy we have in connecting with people," Aiuppy said. "I'm trying to bridge that gap."

Since people are staying home they're relying on the internet more than ever to connect with others.

"We don't have as much close or social interaction but on multimedia, we can listen to music and to the arts," said Weikert.

"Stay safe, okay?" Hatcher said.

What will you create?