Art and the Coronavirus

With whimsy and humor, local artists are tackling COVID-19 with coloring pages and a booklet for children and drawings to help adults through every day.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison “Do Your Part” Communications Task Force for COVID-19 is collaborating with local artists to find and share new ways to talk about the pandemic and what everyone can do to make a difference and thrive. Madison artist, cartoonist and UW-Madison alumnus Will Santino created coloring pages for children. Artist Mary Machaud, a Law School Instructor and alumna, is building a series of drawings that will give viewers a chance to take a deep breath and know small things matter. A group of UW-Madison global health students are putting together a booklet for children about how they, too, can help stop the disease.

Learn more about what you can do in this time of the coronavirus.

Children's COVID coloring book

A few pages from the COVID Coloring Book, “Staying Apart While Staying Connected,” with illustrations by Caitlin Marks, a UW-Madison senior, are below. You can also download the whole COVID Coloring Book.

A cartoon picture of a soap dispenser with a football, cellphone and beach ball.
A girl and her dog with a tree, flowers, a sun and football
Two children see what 6-feet apart looks like, a lion, two golden retrievers, moose antlers
A girl with a ball looks at her daily routine
A soap dispenser cartoon character and washing hands in a sink
A cartoon girl is surrounded by cards, a cell phone, a toy dinausaur, colors and a book.

Mary Michaud's drawings for comfort and conversation

Here’s where you can download a pdf of Mary Michaud’s drawings, text and links to more information.

How do you stay active? Share some of the ways you’re #moving your body every day. Research shows that daily movement can boost #mood. Getting outside, into nature, can also help our brains regain the ability to pay attention. And a lot of us have to get creative to keep moving while keeping our #physicaldistance. If you cannot get outside, how can you access nature from inside?
A woman talks to a friend over the computer.
How do you manage #stress? Share some of the “small steps” that help you relax or remain #calm. Sometimes, it can help to check in with someone who has a calming effect on you. There are a lot of other small things you can do, too, like remembering to stop and breathe deeply, signing, or simply sitting and observing out the window in quiet (it can also help to establish a quiet time in your house, where all devices are silent and family members do quiet activities).
An older woman curls up on her couch and looks outside at a tree and cardinal.
How do you manage stress? Getting a daily “dose” of nearby nature, can also help our brains regain the ability to pay attention. Why? Even watching a nature scene out a window for fifteen or twenty minutes can help us relax because it doesn’t require us to focus our attention. It just draws us in. If you cannot get outside, how can you access nature from inside?
How do you help ensure you’re on the “same page” with your family? Share your ideas about how you check in. Research demonstrates that listening--seeking first to understand--can help build good conversations and trust. Helping shape clear roles and responsibilities can also help families get through challenging times.
A worker is takikng off her work shoes by the door, wearing a face mask.
How do you sanitize after returning home from work? Share some of the ways you’re making sure you leave any contamination outside your door. We’re #grateful for our #essentialworkers who are taking steps to support us and ensure their families stay safe.
A worker fills produce bins at a grocery store and takes time to stretch.
How do you take care at work? Share some of the ways you practice self-care when working in stressful environments. Research shows that short breaks, attention to posture, and stretching/strength routines can boost energy and reduce injury on the job.
How do you stay hopeful? Share some of the ways you remind yourself to look for hope in the world.
A mom sits on a sofa with her children. Their drawings are taped to the wall, and a little girl looks out the window.
How do you shape your home to be healthy? Share an idea on this thread for others to use. #Celebrating small things can help get us through. Research has shown that a regular practice of #gratitude goes a long way in helping people bounce back in hard times. #resilience
Shows a women's face and shoulders with words around her about how to worry less.
How do you help yourself to #worry less? Share some strategies you use to reduce the worry. Sometimes, just noticing how we “talk to ourselves” can help us become more aware of why and when worry starts to take hold.

Artist Will Santino's Coloring Pages