Art Educator Remains Dedicated To Kids During Coronavirus

ELLICOTT CITY, MD — Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, Marianne Daley delighted in providing hands-on art education programs to children ages 20 months to 14 years old in Howard County.

As educational director of Abrakadoodle, Daley offered after school enrichment at schools, preschools and community centers. She also hosted summer camps, spruced up birthday parties and held Art Splash events with adults. Then the pandemic struck.

“On March 13, my business effectively closed once schools and community centers were closed. So, after the initial panic set in, it was time to get to work and start figuring out a ‘new normal.’ We’ve been offering a free weekly challenge (#SplatDoodle) on social media. It was a way to stay connected to my families and has been really well received,” Daley told Patch. “I wanted to keep the children engaged, so I created an Amazon wish list and I have wonderful friends who purchased various art supplies for me to provide to the children who have participated. Each week, I deliver ‘Happy Mail’ to the wonderful artists who have submitted art. This challenge is open to all.”

Another way Daley has kept in touch with her clients is by offering lessons via Zoom, art supply kits and DIY project kits. She’s had a presence in Howard County since 2017, but has expanded somewhat into Anne Arundel County. She’s missed being face-to-face with her customers and the kids.

“I have always loved children and art. I was in marketing for

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celebrating art in the time of coronavirus

In 1918, when the world was plagued by the Spanish flu, artists tried to make sense of the world around them. Edvard Munch made lonely self-portraits, while Egon Schiele drew his mentor Gustav Klimt on his deathbed. Photographers captured empty streets and ghostly cityscapes, like Morton Schamberg’s rooftop views from 1917, to hospitals shot by the California photojournalist, Edward A “Doc” Rogers.

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging on, and the world in quarantine, the online exhibition Life During Wartime: Art in the Age of the Coronavirus hosted by the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, offers a window into what artists are up to right now.

Related: Signs of the times: how Douglas Coupland’s art came to life under coronavirus

By partly featuring artwork made since 5 March, the date the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, it shows how artists have responded to the crisis – with four more artworks added every Tuesday – that will allow us to watch, in real time, how art evolves over the course of the pandemic, until the exhibition wraps up 12 December.

“We didn’t want to do a data dump, where you just unload everything, that’s a single vision,” said the curator, Christian Viveros-Fauné. “Part of what we wanted to do, because we want to react to the times, is to create, sustain and engage, if we can.”

The goal is to trigger conversations with stories about the pandemic, he says, and provide what he calls: “optimism in the

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