Gesso’s many friends and clients have been severely impacted by the necessary Covid-19 prevention measures. We reached out to some of them for their comments about that impact. Here are some of their responses.
Bennie Parr – Bennie’s Pizza Pub
As a newer business owner of only 22 months, the uncertainty of how everything will bounce back is very unsettling. But I am not a person to give up easily, and our community is not either… the out pouring of support has been incredible, people going out of their way to support us and the amount of people offering helping hands has been very heart warming. The downtown Belleville businesses work very well together; we are in constant contact sharing ideas and ways to get through this. We are hopeful that our government will come through with guidance and support to help the small businesses that employ so many in our community until then we will continue to work together to get through these hard times.
124 East Main Street, Belleville IL
Dave Schoenborn – Lincoln Theatre
Having been one of the first business sectors affected, I do believe it was the right thing to close. We must distance ourselves and avoid socialize in person at this time. Having said that, we will have no income for a couple of months yet bills will keep coming from utilities, etc. Here is an example: just had a friend tell me that his cable company would not let them pause their cable service at the business but keep their phone and internet up. No one is there to watch the TV at the bar and that is half their bill.
Biggest thing is loans. We, like others, already have business loans. Relief loans just add to our debt and when we open back, it may take months to get back to normal so making payments and just in general hardship is likely to carry on well past the time we start to allow gatherings again.
103 East Main Street, Belleville IL
Jacque Davis – Textile Artist
I am grateful my studio is at home; that being said, it has been harder to start a new idea; too many distracting thoughts. Everybody is home so there are a lot more interruptions. I have been cleaning my studio, hand-sewing baby booties for the Mourning Project. Cooking and baking a lot!
Like me, many of my artist friends have exhibits hanging with no audience… we are sharing pictures in our on line groups. Of course, this is not a buyers market, but I have seen some art trades happening. The impact of no audiences is very difficult for working artists since we do the work up front and have already spent time and money on the materials. No audience – less potential for sales. Knowing my artist and musician friends are not able to earn a living troubles me greatly.
Stress has always impacted my creativity. Currently, I just feel a creative stuckness. I am beginning to get glimpses of ideas here and there so I know I won’t be stuck for long. The colors I use in my work may not be so bright for a while but my dreams are providing lots of material.
I am trying to stay positive, share good thoughts with others and listen to music!! Meditation to ease fears and then there is wine and board games with Brad.
Cory and Robin – Art Gecko Creative Studio
Art Gecko Creative Studio at 218 East State Street in O’Fallon Il., is closed for business. Not permanently but as long as the Covid-19 Shut-Down is in effect. We are one of many small businesses that have been affected by this pandemic.
Art Gecko is an art school that has weekly classes for school age children and adults. We also have birthday parties and special events for clients. Because we work closely with our students and clients, we felt it was in the public interest to suspend our business until this health issue is resolved.
Although we are doing fine personally, we miss that interaction with our students and community. We could do videos, but we have found that it is harder than it looks. That special connection in the teaching process is lost. It is hard on everyone, but we will all get through this together. Art is beauty. Art is all around, so get out and create, whether it be to hang in your home windows or sidewalks for all to see, or to hang on the walls.
We, like so many other small businesses, are staying positive that we will get through this and be back in business sooner than later. We hope our students are staying creative and we encourage families to get out the art supplies and have fun. We will see you back at the studio before you know it. God Bless.
218 East State Street, O’Fallon IL
Like so many others of the region, Gesso Magazine is experiencing multiple effects from this Covid-19 Shut-Down. Those effects are most publicly noticeable by the absence of a physical magazine not in distribution to all those hundreds of Metro locations. Thank you for joining us online. We, too, miss the look and feel of this issue in our freshly washed and re-washed hands.
The calendar was the first aspect to be affected. Instead of the vast list of art, music and cultural events included every day, we are down to “All events subject to postponement or cancellation” and postings of the inspiring livestream events our Metro musical family is offering. That may be sufficient for a Facebook post but does not support print.
We have lost all of our own events. Our concerts at the Lincoln Theatre. The big Boulderdash 40th Anniversary concert – though they will be back. Our Jacque Davis textile arts exhibition at Governor French Gallery is on lockdown. And our next April exhibition will not open on schedule.
And all of our great sponsors and advertisers. Gesso has always prided itself in featuring ads and sponsorships from local, shop-small stores, restaurants, and venues. Partnering with annual events of local origination, like Midwest Salute To The Arts and the SWIC high school student art show and others. All of our sponsors are truly friends. And all of our sponsors have suffered shutdowns, adjustments, and/or postponements. Vicariously, we have felt the impact as well. We wish them all the best of health, both physically and fiscally. In the meantime, we join together with them in solidarity amidst this temporary austerity, watching for the big turnaround ahead.
Please stay safe out there and enjoy this month’s digital issue of Gesso Magazine