Art in the Time of Pandemic

By Brian Lowry



If there is any light that the COVID pandemic and social distancing casts, it is that we are more intimately bound together than we often realize. We share our lives with one another, and each of us is interconnected with everyone else in ways that we rarely take the time to appreciate or understand. The arts are an essential part of this connection. They are the ways we express ourselves and communicate with one another. They are the channels for beauty, joy and comfort.


It is often easy to disregard the arts as “unessential,” frivolous ornaments that we can do without. As we face this crisis together, though, we recognize just how profoundly important they are. We share stories with each other, we appreciate the quiet reading time, we build puzzles, we engage in crafts with our children, we find solace and inspiration in the music we love. The arts are communal, just as human beings are. They are meant to engage.


However, until we can gather together again to celebrate with one another by dancing, concert-going or enjoying plays with each other, we have engage the arts virtually. Because we can’t open our doors to share the work of our favorite artists with you right now, The Whiting Arts Council would like you to have the opportunity to spend a few minutes enjoying the creative expressions of a couple local artists.



Laura Cochran: I am a full-time art teacher (31 years at Clark HS) and a part time artist. I am just getting more into selling my work mostly on commission. I love to paint portraits and animals. I want my work to be fun, colorful and lively. I have been working mostly with watercolors and acrylics currently, but I have dabbled in everything from ceramics to fiber arts. Making things is what keeps me alive!

Find more her work on Facebook under “Art by Laura”


Michael J. Kizman aka Mr. Mike: I am a local guy who took up painting a few years ago.  When I’m not painting, I’m a truck driver by trade and youth leader by choice, most notably in my 6th year in Girl Scouts as both troop leader and Service Unit Delegate.

You can find his stuff on Facebook at Simply99 Creations and Instagram at simply99_ creations.


Rick Catania: Those who know me know my photographs and those who know my photographs know me. I love photography, sharing my work, and giving others a visual perspective of what I see through a camera. You can find my photographs on Facebook; on my timeline or various group pages such as “Whiting Indiana Memories and Remember Whens”, “Nature Images of the Whiting / Robertsdale Area”, and “Visit Whiting”.