MARCH 31, 2020 | BY MARK MITCHELL
Culture for your quarantine
How are you doing? Everything OK? Staying healthy and safe? This “new normal” of social distancing and self-quarantine has changed so many lives over the past few weeks. As an artist with a home studio, however, much of my personal routine has strangely remained the same. Sure, my wife is now working from home along with me once again, which is nice. And we’re avoiding crowds and social activities with friends, non-essential shopping and dining out. The beaches are closed, so weekends are quiet ones at home. But generally speaking, my typical work day feels relatively unchanged. Artists tend to be quite adept at spending long hours working alone, without a lot of contact with others. It’s part of what enables us to focus, and employ the discipline needed to create. But I do feel for all those extroverts and people whose work normally requires a lot of personal interaction each day.
That said, the greater art world of galleries, museums and live events have all but come to a screeching halt. And, of course, selling art just got an awful lot more difficult in a stressed-out world of people reconsidering their priorities and unsure of their immediate financial future.
Fortunately for us, we live in a time when friends and family are a few button clicks away. Just this weekend my Mom, my siblings and their spouses, my wife and I got together for a virtual cocktail hour on Zoom. We chatted and laughed just as if we were all in the same living room, and it felt great. Moments like that are priceless, and make me really appreciate our connected world. Even social media seems a bit more lively lately too, with friends showing concern, sharing info, making jokes and helping to keep each others‘ spirits up.
Similarly, many artists, arts organizations, entertainers and venues have been leveraging the power of the internet to bring their content home to everyone unable to attend in-person. Lots of online galleries, virtual tours and streaming events have been popping up lately for us homebound folks—with many if not most offered free of charge. So, with this week’s blog post as Creative Pinellas grantee, I thought I’d share a few that came across my radar. Enjoy!
12 World-Class Museums You Can Visit Online
From The Louvre to The Met, Guggenheim to Dalí Theatre-Museum in Spain.
Check out this amazing list @ mentalfloss.com
Online Arts Events During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Tons of livestream events including The Metropolitan Opera, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and even the Social Distancing Festival!
Find them @ creative-capital.org
Free Jean-Michel Basquiat & Keith Haring Virtual Exhibit
The National Gallery of Victoria in Australia hosts this very cool immersive experience.
Details @ secretnyc.co
Museums Share Their Most Zen Art to Help People Relax
Follow #MuseumMomentofZen to calm your corona nerves.
Explained @ travelandleisure.com
10 Binge-Worthy Art Podcasts
Plug into the art-world conversation while museums and galleries are closed.
Read on @ nytimes.com
London’s National Theatre Streams a Free Play Every Thursday Night
Catch Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, Twelfth Night and more.
Details @ timeout.com
State Theater / DTSP LIVE – Saved by Streaming
If you’re a St Pete local that’s missing The State Theatre under renovation, you’ll be happy to know they’ve got a FREE live streaming series.
Catch intimate sets from the likes of Mountain Holler, Betty Fox, Kerry Courtney and all your local faves on facebook.com
St Pete Art from the Dali, Florida CraftArt, MFA and More
Watch lectures, see exhibitions and find activities from local artists, museums and galleries. Listing @ tampabay.com
Universal Current Theatrical Movies Available for Home Viewing
Get a jump on current movies with this opportunity to rent them early.
Full story @ latimes.com
Stream SiriusXM Free for 3 Months
Get the app and access tons of commercial-free music of every genre, a wide range of news sources,
Howard Stern broadcasting from home, and even a 24-hr Coronavirus channel!
Sign up @ siriusxm.com
CLICK ANY PIC FOR DETAILS. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
Child’s Play – Acrylic on Canvas | The Birds – Acrylic on Canvas
The DNA of Tech – Acrylic on Canvas Triptych | Marketing 2.0 – Acrylic on Canvas
All Images ©2011-2020 Mark Mitchell Studio LLC
Now, all this connectivity is wonderful—especially right now. But… close friends and fans of my art may know I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with a lot of modern tech. Some of our recent so-called “advancements” have a bit of a dark side, and can often carry some concerning side-effects—like screen-addiction, cyber-bullying, misinformation, propaganda, privacy issues and even job depletion via the rising use of automation. These are some of the issues I tend to explore in my paintings, as in the pieces seen above (ahem… all available for purchase). Similar themes will also play a role in my new work to be featured in the upcoming Emerging Artist Exhibition in The Gallery at Creative Pinellas this Spring.
All that aside, I must say I’m excited to learn that due to the pandemic shut-down, Creative Pinellas is busy working on its own set of online events in which I’ll be participating. They include Artist Studio Tour Videos, a Live Online Artist Q&A Event, as well as an Interactive 3D Virtual Tour of the Emerging Artist Exhibition—all in anticipation of a postponed Opening Event for the public at the gallery. Stay tuned—I’ll be sharing more details on all that very soon!
I wish you all safety and the best of health at this difficult time. We can get through this!
More news and updates on the way. I invite you to follow my progress on this blog, and at the links below.
Produced with the support of Creative Pinellas, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners