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Screen Shot 2021 03 31 at 10.19.40 AMSanta Rosa-based art organization Artstart's Shelter in Place Mural. (photo courtesy of Jennifer Tatum).

 

 

 

COVID has affected everyone, old and young. But for teenagers, being stuck at home has been especially challenging and often painful. That's why when COVID hit last March, Jennifer Tatum, the creative director for the Santa Rosa-based arts group Artstart, sprang into action and asked teenagers around the county to send in sketches about sheltering in place.

The organization received over 100 submissions over the past year and have assembled a colorful roadmap of the pandemic, from the vantage point of teens between the ages of 14 and 20. 

"COVID arrives and enters in through the universe, and all of a sudden everything stops. And you can see time stopping. There's the pause," Tatum said. "There's the staring at the screen the laying around, and all of the news that's coming in."
 
The aim was to turn the submissions into a mural...representing different stages of the pandemic. From the initial shock and hospitalizations to the Black Lives Matter uprisings all across the country. 
 
The design was unveiled over the weekend in downtown Petaluma and at the Santa Rosa Plaza Mall. Artstart apprentice Melia Marcoux is part of the team that put together the sketches to create a cohesive narrative. 
 
"It's important for not not just young people, but everyone to get in the mindset of other people and just like kind of realize, oh, this is what they're going through, we're not that different," Marcoux said.
 
Artstart is fundraising and looking for a wall to paint the mural on in Sonoma County, somewhere young people can enjoy it. You can watch a short film about the project at https://www.artstart.us/.
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