COVID-19 has created emotional and mental health hurdles for many students, and has been twice as hard for international students. Usually international students come to the US and live with a host family during the school year, and look forward to going home for summer break to see family, enjoy food, catch-up with friends, and travel. This summer many students were not able to travel home, which added a new level of stress and homesickness.
Tree students from China were “stuck here” and feeling sad, but utilized art to do something positive. Junior Ellie Xie painted a wall mural at the new Clintonville campus, making the library a warm and inviting place. She designed and painted the entire piece by herself, over the span of 20 hours. “I was so bored and sad this spring and at the beginning of summer. I love to draw and paint, so I decided to help at the new school campus by painting a fun mural. I am happy that the children can share and use my work!”
Kyle Waidong is a new sophomore at Tree this year, and he was feeling sad, missing his home country. He has been drawing since age 4, and loves to sketch and paint in his free time. He drew a sketch of a man sitting above Chinatown, USA. The man is looking down at all the images, but is not able to touch, smell, feel or taste the things that he loves from home; the town is in his line of vision but is unattainable. The drawing won 1st place in a regional high school competition, and was on display at the Columbus Art Institute. “Drawing the painting helped me to remember all of the things I missed, but cannot have right now. I was very happy to share the drawing with others.”