Dublin Core


Being sent home from CSUSM with instructions to work from home, I was caught by surprise but I thought this would be a nice change of pace and I could find some free time to create my art. What I didn’t know was we’d be home far longer than I expected and the Stay-at-Home quarantine orders was not only coming from our university but also from our state and nation. The news on my television blared and it was nerve wrecking to hear but we couldn’t refrain from listening to it. The excitement in the voice of all newscasters made my heart beat a little faster and the news was creating quite a panic for all. It was not only in our local region but it was global!

I am a double CSUSM graduate and my research and practice has been focused on the arts and mental health. I also teach art healing courses through the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care so I knew what I needed to do. I started by coping mechanisms by sketching rough drafts and dooldes in my sketchbook. It depicted what I was hearing on the news and the stress I was feeling. Then, we were told to wash our hands all the time but now we needed to wear a face mask everywhere we went? Wow, how is this happening in 2020? From sketching in my books and journals, I’d find time to paint in the evenings and on the weekends after spending long periods of time on the computer. Afterall, all communication was now via something called Zoom? What in the world is Zoom, I thought. When I was growing up, my parents taught me and brothers to go outside and play, “get away from the television, it will make you go blind”, they say.

From working in sketchbooks to painting in a small room at home, I wanted to get out. I needed fresh air and sunshine but where could I go without having to wear a mask or be near people? I took a lot of hikes and did some gardening with my husband. This inspired me to paint more. I also had the opportunity to paint an outdoor mural on a wall located in Oceanside, California, at the Muramid Art & Cultural Center founded by my friend and community partner, Joanne Tawfilis. We painted animals and nature on outdoor walls and they were to enclose a cultural garden.

Our nation’s political status was (and still is) a brewing hot pot and stress continues to grow. So many questions, so many uncertainties drove me to create more so I could process what was happening. I painted flowers and nature, colorful animals and people. I painted national symbols and the crisis we are experience during a pandemic. Art is the tool I use, to help me process, connect and communicate with other and to cope through this crisis.

This Covid19 pandemic continues, our global crisis’ continue, so I continue to create.




CSUSM University Library


Together/Apart: The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive






Marilyn Huerta, “"Nineteen",” Stories & Snapshots: Documenting a Year of the Pandemic, accessed August 12, 2022, https://together-apart.csusm.edu/omeka-classic/items/show/183.