I don’t know about you, but I’ve been experiencing a lot of whiplash these last 10 days or so due to incoming events. And, like many artists I follow or have talked to, I have been practicing social distancing by being in my studio. Not that I haven’t been doing it more or less anyway, but it does seem different now. For one thing, all those little too do’s that hang about in the back of my head, such as various errands, an appointment or reception to attend, just aren’t there now – the car remains in the garage.
A long-planned family trip to Ireland has been postponed, opening up two weeks I had not anticipated having in the studio. All of a sudden there is some real potential for more creative work to be done. So my goal right now is to stay on task with what I had already intended to do and then see what other possibilities open up.
Even being in the studio all day, however, doesn’t hide the reality of how discombobulated things feel now. So it has been particularly inspiring to see so many artists, art teachers and art institutions and organizations pitch in to offer online workshops, art meditations, lesson plans, virtual tours of exhibitions, concerts etc. for free, or small donation, to the public at large during this stressful time. There are many that have caught my attention, but here are three that are helping in special ways:
Local artist and Arts in Health Professional, Mason Gehring, is offering an arts related meditation workshop. She can be found on Instagram @masongehring or www.masongehring.com.
An area outreach that I am impressed with is a small organization called Paint22 (www.paint22.com). Their mission is to use the arts as part of suicide prevention efforts for military veterans. Currently, they are raising funds to give $100 worth of art materials to each of five military families who have requested supplies.
The Morean Arts Center (www.moreanartscenter.org) is sharing a word a day, from a randomly chosen page in the dictionary, for anyone to use as a prompt to creat an artwork in any medium or discipline. They are encouraging people to then post their creations. What an easy idea! I am using the concept with my grandchildren up in Minnesota, since I can’t be there physically to help out while they are at home from school. We will FaceTime in the mornings to share a word prompt and chat about different ways they might creatively interpret it. Then, in the afternoons, we will get back together to see what each, myself included, came up with.
There are so many opportunities out there for people of all ages to tap into – literally something for everyone. For all the concerns about the internet, this is where connecting, in the midst of isolation, finds it at its best. And how gratifying to see the arts in this way, doing what it does so well – helping people connect, helping to make people whole. Thank you to all who are reaching out to others in this way!
Keep creating, stay well.
Thanks for reading!
I have made the executive decision that, even should my finger fall upon it, the word “rope” will not be chosen as a prompt for my grandsons – the eldest might consider tying up his younger brother a “creative act”…