A Pandemic Year in Art: Our Stories

A Pandemic Year in Art: Our Stories

Inspired by The New York Times article about coming of age during a pandemic, the NRMS Journalism students created their own artwork capturing their experience of living through a pandemic. In their art and writing, they responded to the themes of a generation trapped in its bedroom, creative progress, the power of nature, and a return to normal(?). Here are their responses:

Elizabeth Foster, ’25

My art is a representation of me, or my mood in Covid. I’m happy; I can focus on my art and my friends much more easily without any other things to deal with, but, as symbolized by the wavy lines, I’m isolated, alone. There are ups and downs to this pandemic, and staying home both rocks, and sucks. But I can at least rely on the confirmation that this will pass, and it’s already beginning to. 

Lillian Peck, ’26

This is a collage representing the power of nature through a wave crashing across the canvas. When somebody thinks of the power of nature, they may think of a hurricane, a tornado, or a volcano, something with the capacity to destroy. But nature is powerful in other ways, too. During the summer, when I had nothing to do because my summer camp was cancelled due to the pandemic, I often went to a certain beach. Walking along the sandy dunes, hearing the waves breaking and washing against the shore, and feeling the salty wind blowing at me all brought me comfort during a time where there wasn’t much of that. I couldn’t see any of my friends, or really go anywhere other than into nature, but at least the one place that I could go was one of the best locations possible. Anywhere in nature is free for everybody to go to, really, and it is always amazing no matter where you are.


Carolline Rodrigues, ’25

Nature was one of the things that helped me during quarantine. I went on walks and rode bicycles. I love going anywhere that there’s a lot of nature because it helps me feel relaxed and it’s so beautiful to look at all the animals and all the different trees and plants. The beach is one of my favorite places to go to. It’s just so much fun and during the quarantine I went to the beach a lot!




Ronan Iles, ’25

My art is a Lego sculpture of a person in their room doing remote learning.  I felt that this was important for me because it is one of the only things I do during this pandemic.  It follows the theme of a generation trapped in its bedroom.  The legos also represent how the pandemic can manipulate us and make us do almost anything like moving a lego person.  Sometimes I feel like the pictures, like an endless loop, but unlike the sculpture there are other things I can do.  During the pandemic remote learning was the majority of my life just like it is for the lego man.

Dylan Filteau, ’25

My art reflects on my thoughts about the past year because it shows where I am held captive by the faults of the world and how people have been spending their days at their technology online. It’s almost similar to the matrix in a way and how we are in school but not physically there, but could be. The risk is real of getting Covid and spreading it and hurting those around us if we go to school. During this time, what I learned about myself is that I don’t thrive without a purpose and I see middle school as just that. I feel it’s almost pointless at times; school builds the skills I will need in the future, but some tasks seem endless and are thrown away as time progresses. This photo is a true example of how everyone is truly stuck. I am lucky to be able to attend school and have the opportunity to learn, and I recognize others are less fortunate, but with I still battle the everlasting thought in my mind of it being pointless.

Mark Schiffenhaus, ’25

How did the pandemic impact me? I had been living in California for three years in Walnut Creek. My parents wanted to go back to Massachusetts, but we couldn’t bring our dog on the plane so we decided to do a road trip. We left on May 29, 2020. On the ride my sister kept us updated on the riots currently happening in the states we passed through wondering which place would be safe to stay at while looking out the window at the changing landscape. 

Looking at the nature around me helped me escape from everything happening around us in every state we went through: the riots, looting, and protests after the death of George Floyd. The trip was a nice time to talk and spend time with my family even though we were watching a lot of movies it was fun to do it with my family.

Lacey Varela, ’25

A Summer Of Awakening 

I spent my summer with family in upstate New York. It was a good summe, in a little beach town, with the days being so hot, and the nights being so cool. Lockdowns were over. I was a whole different person than I was in March, and over the summer I continued to grow and mature. I had one friend in New York, who I spent the summer with. The rest of my friends were in Cape Cod, and while some people would have hated that distance, I liked it. I wasn’t surrounded by people, and it allowed me to see who I was with no one else’s input. Things were quiet in New York. The same small town I was used to, it wasn’t as busy as the Cape. I learned so much about myself that summer. I think everyone grew that summer. Just going through a three month lockdown, everyone was bound to change. Although a lot of the changes coronavirus brought were not good, it affected every person and who they are today. I really don’t know where I would be without the lockdown, and the summer of awakening that followed. The last year was one very unexpected. During the summer, things finally started to look a little normal. 2020 was a year everyone wanted to forget, but the growth that came with the summer made the year worth remembering. The summer definitely changed my outlook on life, and what was important to me. Materialistic things didn’t matter. What I valued was freedom, and the relationships I had with others. The people that stood by me throughout some of the weirdest times, I value. The summer changed my outlook on everything for the future. I am now more grateful for everyone and everything in my life. 

Elexa Malouin, ’25

This photograph was taken in April of 2020. My mom owns a doggie daycare, which I photographed. Before COVID-19 hit, I rarely went there, but soon after schools closed I ended up there almost every day. My mom barely had to work before the pandemic because she had many employees, but she had to lay them off, causing her to have to work almost every day. It was definitely hard for her, so I volunteered to go with her and help out because I had nothing better to do than to sit around at home being bored. 

To be honest, I loved it. It made the months when other people were bored really fun for me. I could go there and cuddle and play with dogs all day–the perfect life! All the dogs were amazing emotional support animals. It was a good place to forget about the fears of Covid and just chill with the puppy dogs all day from 6:30am-6pm. Sometimes I’m in charge of like 30 dogs at a time and it’s hard work sometimes because they are usually crazy and excited to see all their puppy friends.

Lauren DeRuyter, ’25

What’s normal now? Is it our old way of life or is it our new normal? When I think of normal I used to think about being able to go outside without a mask. I wouldn’t have to think about “do I have a mask in my bag?” or “did I clean my mask for tomorrow?” At ballet I would be able to dance with my friends and feel like a whole company dancing together. Now I feel separated and not in sync with the group. When we dance we use our whole body, face included. Now with half of our face missing we have to use our eyes to express emotion.  Over quarantine we were dancing in our rooms. Without the motivation to go to dance class, loads of people quit. Even now, back in person, it doesn’t feel the same. Will we ever return to our old normal, or will we stay somewhat like this forever?

Samantha Barrio, ’25

This photograph shows my dog, Luna at Lecount Beach in Wellfleet. This picture reflects my thoughts from the past year because it’s a place that I spent a lot of time during quarantine, a place where I could escape the craziness of the pandemic. This year has made me be more grateful for ordinary life because before the pandemic, I took being able to go out to eat, hanging out with my friends, and doing normal activities, for granted. 

Within the past year most of my memories are made up of FaceTiming my friends, having socially distanced visits, hanging out with my family more, and spending time with a small circle of people. I want to forget the people who I thought were my closest friends at the beginning of quarantine, because quake told me who really are my closest friends and who will be there for me. I have learned a lot about myself, and I’ve discovered who I really am. My dog that is near the water line is very very afraid of the water and she is trying new things and trying to not be scared and I kinda relate to her because in the past year I’ve tried to be more experimentive, fearless, like she is in the photo.

Samuel Graves, ’25

This is a photo I took off of the dock at Schoolhouse Pond. At the beginning of the school year, my family and I moved to a different part of Brewster during Covid. Before, I would go fishing down at Nickerson and different ponds near my old house, but when we moved they were a lot farther away. Then I found this pond, which was much closer. The picture represents starting over and adjusting to living through the virus. Sometimes the pond can be windy and rough, although sometimes it’s calm, representing the hard times with Covid, but also the good. 

Wyatt Blakesley, ’25

My art piece is about the power of nature, and when you look at it doesn’t seem like it relates to quarantine or Covid-19 because it’s not about that and does not represent it. Before you go off and say that this is a waste of time, hear me out: it does show one important thing and that is improvement and care. The reason why is because I put in a couple of hours into this art piece and usually I don’t do that. I’ve gotten better, and also what I mean about care is that I care about the environment and how billionaire-corporations are treating it. That’s wrong and I want to put a stop to the greed and manipulation of these corporations. In conclusion, I care about the environment and how time and patience can pay off.

Jadon Martin ’26

Hi my name is Jadon and this is my art. His name is Mr. Chevy the fish. Over the past year, I have not been able to fish as much. So I thought I should make a fish to think about fishing.  I was upset about not being able to go fishing as much I would like to, so I thought I would make my own fishing scene. The fish in my picture is a flounder. I love to eat flounder. I think it is going to be good that  Covid-19 happened because the fish had more time to grow and not get killed or caught as much as they would have over the past couple years. It is important to me that this happened because I can probably keep the fish next time I go fishing because they had more time to grow. When I look back over the past year, I think about how the fish are getting bigger and better. But what I want to forget is that I did not get to go fishing as much as I would have liked to. What I learned about myself is that I love to fish and I can’t wait to go fishing again and cast my line.

Teaghan Moore, ’26

For my topic, I chose a generation trapped in its room, so I made a picture of me sitting in my room looking out the window waiting for Covid-19 to end. I drew the windows to look like a jail cell because sitting in my room doing online school feels like a jail cell, like you are trapped in it and can’t get out. I made this because I feel like a lot of people feel like they are trapped because of Covid. They feel like it will never go away and they will just be trapped forever.