For many, the enjoyment of art offers a level of escapism unlike any other. But in these uncertain times, when a visit to your favourite art gallery or museum is out of the question, it’s never seemed more out of reach. Yet there are still plenty of ways to engage with art from afar – from virtual studio tours to getting crafty with your kids and revisiting some of your favourite coffee table books. Here Marlies Verhoeven, co-founder and CEO of The Cultivist, the world’s only global art club, shares her top tips for getting your art fix at home.
Connect with communities online
One of the most exciting things we’re doing with our Cultivist members is organising virtual studio tours to places that are slightly off the beaten track, like one we recently held with the Verhoeven twins, who showcased their glass blowing skills from their Amsterdam studio. We had almost 70 people from around the world dial in and seeing them all there, feeling that sense of community, it almost resembled normal life for a second. Up next we’ll be visiting the studios of Patrick Martinez, famous for his neon artworks, and sculptor Jonathan Prince.
Discover new art books
I receive a lot of art books as gifts and, embarrassingly, I don’t always have time to open them. I’m using this opportunity to finally do just that – the first one I picked up was Women in Art: Figures of Influence, which is a beautiful book I’ve wanted to read for ages. I’ve also been enjoying Warhol on Basquiat, written by a very well respected Basquiat expert who’s been working on the title for years. But my ultimate art read would be Marina Abramovic’s autobiography, Walk Through Walls. The book discusses how she overcomes the intense physical pain she experiences in her performance art through deep meditation – it feels very relevant and meaningful for this time.
Make the most of social media
Plenty of art-related Instagram accounts are coming up with fun new offerings to interact with. One of my favourites is @RatedModernArt, which always posts things that make me smile or help with feelings of anxiety – some of the videos they’ve been sharing are almost meditative in their approach. MoMA (@themuseumofmodernart) shared a great tracing activity for kids by Louise Lawler recently, and I love checking Daniel Arsham’s account (@danielarsham) to see what art he’s creating at home.
Now is a great time to tap into one of the many art education platforms available online. We’re seeing a few of our members go and get that art degree they’ve always wanted, or look to learn more about a particular field in art. Use all this extra time on your hands to finally gain that knowledge.
Stay up to date with newsletters
Many museums and galleries are now creating digital experiences and putting key content online, as a way to engage with their audiences while their physical spaces remain closed. Join the newsletters or mailing lists of your favourite institutions to make sure you get all their latest updates. Hauser & Wirth has one of the best newsletters I’ve seen and is definitely ahead of the game on this.
Seek out intimate virtual experiences
We’re planning a number of online classes for our members with artists around the world over the coming weeks. One that I’m particularly looking forward to is the ‘Draw your Anxiety’ class with New York City-based artist Noah Lyon. When our team was brainstorming ideas for classes, that one immediately came to the forefront. During the session he’ll teach for ten minutes and then everyone will go into free drawing, before Noah gives interactive feedback. We’ll also be hosting weekly art quizzes and mini-sculpture making sessions with Aurora Robson.
If you have kids at home, creating art together can be a great way to keep them occupied. One of my daughters is very artistic and now we have the time to go deep into her projects – we spent three hours crafting this crazy, cave-like structure together the other day. While it may not be high art, it can definitely help decrease your own anxiety