Going ‘solo’ to come together

Melissa Ongko, a fourth year art major, created a 2D animation to visualize her conflicting emotions about staying at home. The video won the contest during week three. Courtesy of Melissa Ongko.

UCI Illuminations contest showcases student creativity during COVID

by Lilibeth Garcia, UCI | June 24, 2020

"Students have been social distancing since mid-March, and it hasn’t been easy for them. They have had to adapt to the loneliness being apart from friends and classmates, the uncertainty of a novel virus outbreak, a severe economic recession and a nationwide social uprising – all while balancing school and extracurricular duties. A silver lining, however, has emerged. Artistic expression is flourishing among Anteaters, as they use it to cope with it all.

UCI Illuminations, an arts and culture initiative, has been showcasing these poignant works through its inaugural Solos Contest. Each week since the beginning of the spring quarter, contestants have been encouraged to record a one-minute video of any art created during the pandemic. It can include a poem, a song, an art piece of any kind, a new recipe, a monologue or a dance. The only requirement is that the work must be original, solo and express a current state of mind. Videos were uploaded to Instagram or YouTube, and the reviewers – drama Ph.D. students Talin Abadian and Chee-Hann Wu – accessed them through the hashtag #illuminationschallenge. All skill levels were welcomed, and the winners received $50 gift cards."

Read the entire feature at news.uci.edu here.