June 14, 2021
Lawrence, US 68 F

Lawrence 2nd-graders share feelings about pandemic through portraits

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, teachers have cultivated creative and meaningful ways to convey lessons to their students. Art projects represent one of the ways students have expressed their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic.

The Lawrence Times asked art teachers in the Lawrence school district to share some of their students’ work reflecting on the pandemic.

In this gallery, second-grade distance learners of art teacher Julia Rose-Weston show off their skills in portrait-making.


“Due to the pandemic, school and art class (are) very different this year,” Rose-Weston told the Times in an email. “Staying safe seems to be the theme this year and it shows up in our art.”

“I teach four virtual classes, called distance learners, and 15 in-person classes,” she said. “I have put together two different art kits full of supplies for my distance learners.”

For this project, the students learned about Brazilian artist Romero Britto. A self-taught artist and charitable activist, Britto founded the Happy Art Movement, according to his website. The movement’s mission is “to inspire happiness, fun, love and optimism around the globe through his unique art and vibrant colors.”

“I taught them how to draw a portrait and the mask made it easier. When we colored (the portraits) we used half happy colors and half sad colors. We learned that art expresses emotions. Many of us are feeling sad and lonely at this time, but we have a lot of fun meeting virtually,” Rose-Weston said.

Take a virtual stroll through this online gallery to view works created by distance learners from Cordley, Hillcrest, Prairie Park, Schwegler and Sunflower elementaries. Click on the diagonal arrows in the bottom right corner to view the gallery in full-screen mode.

On a mobile device? Click here to view the gallery.

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