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  • Kami Miles

Petersburg artist, Denise Tipton, advocates that creativity reduces stress during COVID-19

Art has proven to relieve stress, and local Petersburg artist, Denise Tipton, encourages everyone to remain creative during the pandemic.

Watch the video above to hear why local artist, Denise Tipton, believes art can reduce stress throughout the pandemic. (Video: Kami Miles)

According to the National Institutes of Health, social isolation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has tripled the rate of depression and other mental illnesses in the United States.

However, studies presented by the Harvard Business Review suggest that isolation and constraints are good for innovation, and that the best way to lift the burden of stress during the pandemic is to create art.

Denise Tipton, owner and manager at Old Towne Studio 7 in Petersburg, VA, created her studio as a place for everyone to earn well deserved comfort and joy in times of stress. As we examined in our previous Wonderful Minds article, Petersburg artist offers a creative space to promote mental well-being, the process of creating something regardless of the technique or task has proven to relieve stress, encourage creative thinking, and provides a wealth of mental health benefits.

As Tipton explains in the video above, art is often associated with painting or drawing. However, creativity is innately human, and simply creating something is the escape our minds need when feeling overwhelmed.

The structures of American’s day-to-day lives have dramatically changed with the implementation of social distancing, quarantines, lockdowns, and curfews. Humans are social beings and need an outlet for build-ups of stress and anxiety. The National Institutes of Health explains that the two most effective ways to relieve stress and boost emotional resilience are exercise and creative interventions, both of which are attainable for most individuals during lockdown.

Tipton suggests that we are always surrounded by artistic opportunity. Regardless of artistic ability, we are all artists at heart.

“I hear so many people say they aren’t creative, that they can’t draw a stick figure, or that 'you either got it or you don’t.’ That’s not true – there is something out there for all of us. Writing a book, landscaping, gardening, making a mosaic for a patio, even architecture, music, and dancing… it’s all art. It’s freeing in itself to just express ourselves. Just DO something, you’ll find yourself coming back for more, and discovering something new about yourself.”

Denise Tipton encourages everyone to discover their inner artist, regardless of skill or talent. Local artists utilize her studio to relieve stress during COVID-19. Tipton offers classes for all ages. (Photos: Kami Miles)

To attend an art night at Old Towne Studio 7, visit, or search for a local studio near you to start creating!

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