COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Half a million people cannot pack the downtown area this year for the Columbus Arts Festival due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, organizers hope patrons of the arts will go online.
Art often lends an outlet during difficult times.
The time has never been more important to express yourself.
“This has been a year of responding to the needs and what is happening in our community,” said Columbus Arts Festival producer Jamie Goldstein.
From a global pandemic to protests of racial injustice, the Greater Columbus Arts Counsel has had a lot to say through the power of the paintbrush.
“I think a lot of artists are feeling the need to speak out and they need to say something especially with the black lives matter,” said artist Maureen Clark.
Cardboard covered windows now act as murals, the kind of work that got Clark into the art business.
“I would like to put something out in the world that is beautiful and colorful and makes people happy,” she said.
This year, the arts festival, which celebrates just that, will not be downtown. Instead it will be online because of coronavirus concerns.
You can shop artist around the country, enjoy musical performances, and share past memories.
“We’re hoping to provide people a place to connect,” said Goldstein. “Folks who are going to very much be missing our downtown festivals and they arts festival this year.”
For already struggling artists, it’s an opportunity to make a living.
“When the lockdown happened with the virus a lot of people kind of pulled back on commissions which is understandable,” Clark said.
Even though they can still connect — nothing compares to the in-person festival kind of feel.
“People are really sad,” Goldstein said. “This is our family.”
“The whole environment of it, to be able to see artists nationally and support them,” Clark said.