Another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, whereas 4 out of 5 peoples’ jobs are being affected by the lockdown. However, even though the world is plunging into recession, it’s giving people some much needed time to discover their true talents – whether it’s cooking, painting, singing, dancing, or music.
It’s a well-known fact that some of the most successful companies like General Motors, IBM, and WhatsApp started during a recession, so it’s safe to assume that talented artists who just discovered their passion are likely to have a bright future ahead of them. The following is a list of some of the most creative ideas that freelance artists and brands have come up with that are boosting employment and growth for new artists:
Artists in Quarantine
Jakob Lohmann is a circus artist graduate who is known for combining his circus skills with performance art in order to counterview the relationship between spectators and performances. The artist has a gallery in New York that goes by the name of J.Lohmann Gallery Inc. Recently, ever since the lockdown was imposed, he created the Facebook and Instagram pages, ‘Artists in Quarantine‘. These act as platforms through which artists all over the world come together in order to share their ideas, collaborate on projects, or simply enjoy the work of other artists. A platform like this not only helps new artists to grow but also helps to uplift those in despair due to isolation.
InGallery: Make Quarantine Art
The InGallery, situated in the heart of Moscow, provided the perfect opportunity for artists who had lost work due to the pandemic and needed a platform to showcase it. They began the project ‘Isolation’ for freelancers who want to share their work with the world. It is calling out painters, graphic designers, media artists, performers, illustrators, and concept artists to send in their work made in 2020 before May 1st. This work will reportedly be submitted to a group of curators, including Anastasia Nikulina, and all shortlisted items will be showcased on a digital platform as part of an exhibition. This proves that while the physical world may have come to a temporary halt, artists still have the opportunity to unleash their creativity through alternative channels.
BBC: Culture in Quarantine
The globally recognized news network has come up with an art and culture initiative that is currently running on UK’s digital, television, and radio platforms. The initiative aims to broadcast the work of talented artists, which was suspended due to cancellations and postponed events. This content entails musician and comedian performances, collections and art pieces in galleries, the work of visionaries, and, last but not least, book festivals with exclusive access to the authors. The director of BBC Arts, Jonty Claypole, says that the brand was always more than ‘just a broadcaster’ and is playing its due role in providing a platform to collect and deliver the work of artists quickly. BBC is definitely playing its role by supporting new artists and providing content to interested viewers at a time where entertainment and creative content is much needed.
The beauty of art as a concept is that it is not limited to the canvas. It can be labeled as creativity in any shape or form – and that is what artists Danielle Baskins and Max Hawkins reminded the world of. The duo created Quarantine Chat – an app with the voice chat feature, Dial-up. It is aimed at users in quarantine zones who feel lonely and allows them to connect with others in order to deal with the isolation and anxiety caused by the pandemic. Dial-up was initially introduced in 2019 for freelance artists who had no one to talk to about their work. The website helped them to connect with self-employed entrepreneurs who pretended to be their boss and offered them guidance. However, the purpose of Quarantine Chat is much more crucial. It aims to reduce the anxiety and depression faced by individuals in isolation.
In an interview with the Insider, co-creator Baskins mentioned how the idea for the app was close to home. She reportedly traveled to China, after which she contracted mono and was forced in isolation for weeks after. It was then that the idea came to her, “Then I thought: I wish I could talk on the phone to other people with mono and ask them what movies they’re watching and other stuff. It would be nice to talk to them because I know we’re going through a similar experience together at this moment”. She also added that while the coronavirus is not a lighthearted matter, she and Hawkins hope to bring people moments of joy during this difficult time.
David Zwirner’s online gallery
In trying times such as these, it has become the duty of the privileged to help those in need. German art dealer Zwirner has generously offered to share his digital viewing room with smaller galleries that do not have sufficient resources of their own to do so as physical spaces remain shut. Twelve art galleries in New York, including Essex Street, Bridget Donahue, David Lewis, Queer Thoughts and 47 Canal will now be showcasing two pieces of each artist on Zwirner’s platform; thus, creating a source of income for freelancers artists and art galleries that are facing financial constraints due to complete shutdown.