Arts in Quarantine Showcase

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our everyday life is changing to match the demands of social distancing. Quarantine life is inspiring artists to leave permanent marks that will remind us of these difficult times. This week’s Arts & Leisure section is dedicated to student artists’ efforts to maintain their craft at home.


Izhaar Rosa ’22

During this quarantine, I’ve had lots of nightmares. Every time I wake up, I’ve written down my vivid visions…in some hope that I could funnel the claustrophobic and fearful atmosphere [of] my mind. 

Technically, the picture’s simply…of my mother not getting ready due to quarantine, but I wanted to do more than that. I was inspired by lots of [film director Stanley] Kubrick for this shot; the green tint gives the picture a rather ominous feel, then you’ve got this lady who the viewer is forced to wonder about as she’s out of focus. You then notice that you’re looking into a mirror, and this lady is actually behind you. It’s abrupt and leaves questions; I want the viewer to wonder what comes next.


Jerry Qiao ’22

Being in quarantine has definitely affected the subjects of my work, but not the mentality. my Lower Mid photography teacher Mr. Lock showed us a Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) exhibition called Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort, to give us some inspiration for working at home. The photo below was for a homework assignment where we had to capture how we feel during quarantine. [I believe that] what really sets photography apart from other prominent art forms is its ability to capture and preserve certain perspectives or significant moments throughout your life and history. That is why [photography] remains an important form of artistic and self exploration today; no matter the circumstances, people will always find a way to capture their perspectives that appear in interesting forms.


Peter Kallos ’22

This photograph represents solitude and reflection. I drew a parallel between the sun bouncing off of the wood, the metal of the hangers, and how I am reflecting to gain knowledge about myself. We all are silently growing from quarantine, even if none of us like it.


Anaiz (Annie) Robinson ’22

Earlier this year in my photography class, we were asked to take images of our life in quarantine.

I chose to capture my family sitting on our roof looking out into the street. Although we are together, I still wanted to show some individualism, so we each have a different pose and our own window. As someone who hates being cooped up in one space, I was able to portray how one might enjoy the fresh air, while not leaving the house.

In order to capture this image, I set up a stand for my phone on the roof of our car just outside the house and set a timer. Then, I ran back inside to my place in the center and the picture was taken. 


Peyton Wexler ’22

This is a Portuguese Man of War, which I found washed up on the shore one day. I am thankful that I live on the coast of Florida during this quarantine, because I have access to the beach. Going to the beach has become a daily activity.  

Here is a man cleaning the floor outside my house. His mask and the white colors [represent the obsession] with cleanliness going on right now due to the coronavirus.


Nicole Ocampo ’23

Quarantine has robbed us of our beaches, classrooms, restaurants, and sport fields, slowly replacing them with an increased reliance on technology. Isolation has granted us time for reflection, but has left behind a greater feeling of solitude. If it wasn’t easy enough to lose ourselves before, quarantine has only made it harder for us to remember our self-worth.

This piece is meant to [reflect] that. It is a reflection off of my laptop, presenting the prominent feeling of confinement behind our screens. The compositional elements of the piece, such as the lack of color, further highlight the mood of the image. The piece, down to its core, is about self-discovery.


Visual Art

Nicole Morikawa ’21

[After] using sandpaper to spread and smooth out my initial charcoal and conte marks on paper for a more atmospheric background, I [then] used spray glue…and dumped charcoal powder on top. A layer of Dura-lar [film] was placed on top of the paper, and I repeated the spray glue and charcoal powder process on that as well. Finally, I used black and white ink to render the figure on the Dura-lar sheet.

Social expectations for gender roles and the pressure to conform within that specific “box” can be overwhelming. This piece is meant to depict society’s view of what qualifies as being a man, as well as the emotional turmoil that comes with trying to answer that question.

This [work] is a Surrealism-inspired piece illustrating the ridiculous…standards of beauty for females. Through the skeleton figure, swan neck, hourglass figure, and the anatomically inaccurately long legs, popularized descriptions that are often associated with the “ideal” body type, [I worked] to show the true objectifying nature of these [expectations].

Medium: acrylic paint on paper


Cooper Roh ’22

Current events [are] reflected in a few key pieces of imagery. First and foremost, the melting clock represents th[e] feeling of time being warped and distorted, in which every day feels monotonously the same (which I’ve heard described as “Blursday”). Compared to my scheduled and structured life at Hotchkiss, life at home without a regimen means that the concept of time itself often feels surreal. Hours just seem to melt away, and the image of the melting clock, an homage to Dali, perfectly expresses this feeling. Secondly, the portrait shows [the] dichotomy of myself currently: quarantine me (left) and Hotchkiss me (right). The quarantine depiction shows me in a more hunched position and [wears] a hoodie, which denotes comfort and more relaxed standards. Additionally, the two other pieces of imagery are the phone and the mask. To cope with my isolation, I have been texting and calling people to talk with or surfing social media and YouTube. The phone is the object of my fixation, occupying quarantined-me entirely as an escape for better or a distraction for worse. This is starkly contrasted with the longing of Hotchkiss (farmer) me.

The final impact of the COVID quarantine is seen in the window frame. As inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic, the two figures stand next to one another, but are cramped inside rather than outside, behind a window that itself was taken from the Wood portrait. The shape of the window frame emulates that of a cage, specifically a metaphorical “gilded cage.” I had described quarantine as such, as I am with loved ones under a safe roof with good food but cannot help but still feel trapped. The aspect of the cage feeling “trapping” is lastly shown in my firm grip of the window’s central muntin, as if it were the bar of a jail cell and I am a prisoner, longing to break free.



The Hotchkiss Dramatic Association has been producing short plays over Zoom featuring community members and releasing them on their Instagram page.


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So many freaking stars.

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Jack McGlinn ’22

For theatre, we mainly rehearse [synchronously] over Zoom. There’s this activity that’s quite interesting where we do voice only rehearsals. Besides that, we also work a lot on our monologues and duologues.


Desmond Teague ’20 – Original song on the tenor saxophone

I wrote a tune called Hyblaeis. I loop the chords on a 12 string guitar, then play the melody on tenor saxophone and then improvise a little the last time through. Hope you enjoy it!

Jacqueline Wang ’23 – performance on the pipa

This piece is adapted from various folk songs of Yunnan in southwest China. It depicts the [alpine] scenery and people dancing in celebration. I enjoy its contrasts and emotions. The first theme [brings to mind] the peaceful and beautiful mountains, with streams and Yunnan-styled houses hidden within. Men and women, children and elders, represented by different sounds, all dance in the celebration. I love the melody, rich sounds created by various techniques, and the intensity of emotions.

Kenny Zhang ’22 – performance on the piano

[This is me having] some fun with my friend Ben Kim back in my previous school, Rumsey Hall.

It could be challenging to move a piano around with me. I’ve moved several times since March, [there is no] piano for me during hotel quarantine, and I have to say it’s challenging to get access to an instrument under the conditions. It’s hard to settle down and polish the pieces. [However], I finally have the time to listen to more recordings and learn from different interpretations. Performance opportunities are at all time low, [but] I don’t miss them — I should work on quality instead of quantity, [especially knowing that] my repertoire is already pretty stretched.  I [now] try to focus on one or two pieces a day. Since the academic day is shortened significantly, (out of the hotel quarantine) I get more flexibility for my practice. And who doesn’t like flexibility, especially for arts?



Yuki Zhang ’22 – poem

Ironically, quarantine actually gives me an opportunity to sit and reflect on many things that are out there in the world. Watching the news online gives me a lot of inspiration, and I often incorporate my thoughts on politics, cultural values, and human nature in my poems. I’ve also had more time to reflect on my memories and experiences in my life, which is a helpful thing in the act of making any art. I’m currently working on my poetry book that’s going to be published at the end of this year. The topics primarily revolve around those experiences I treasure and my personal thoughts on them. Quarantine is yet another interesting experience for me. In my recent poems, I wrote about bears taking over the street, [my] feeling [of] homesick[ness], and history repeating itself. The vision displayed in those poems is optimistic, which is something I want to evoke among my readers. My schedule is [also] more flexible during quarantine, so I have more dedicated time to work on my project and discover new things that I wouldn’t have if I were back on campus.

A Different View from the Window


Knocks against the window with her tall bare branches

Awakened from the winter’s cold. 

A magpie comes in her elegant dark

Hopping on the red roof to search for worms. 

The vibrancy outside dazzles me 

And the darkness inside swallows her. 

I’d better close the window. 


Hope the bears and deer

That are taking over the street don’t spot me. 

They will stubbornly think of it as another evil fraud devised by human beings,

Even though it isn’t. 

Now let them rule this civilized world a little longer

Like their ancestors did millions years ago in this unraveled world

Reclaiming in their own good time. 


No temperature can be felt 

From the rays of  early morning sun shining through the window

A static tension in the cold air insulates everything inside

Including me, having no choice but to breathe it in.

Entangled in a fog of emotions

I lock myself in stories for too long. 

A leaf moving in the wind becomes a wonder

And a crow sunbathing with outstretched wings becomes a surprise. 


They say there is a rope ladder to climb out of it

I used it, but quit after I reached for the first rung. 

Indeed, salvation can be sought not only in the lines of poems and imaginations. 

I don’t want to miss the spring,

And don’t want it to miss me either. 

I’d better open the window now.