With each new year comes a new list of resolutions, hopes for new experiences and a quest for new hobbies. For many this may be a goal to work out more or go on more adventures, but as 2021 begins with lockdowns and more time spent at home, art and creativity have become an easily accessible form of expression. Whether you’ve gone into the new year hoping for more creative ventures or not, it is certainly a good time to consider giving art a try.
Art of all forms has transitioned to an online format to offer a wider range of accessibility for those who wish to create and participate as well as those who wish to consume and watch. Museums, art centers, theaters, performing arts centers and many more art-centered locations across Eugene and beyond are becoming increasingly creative with ways to reach the public remotely and, at times, in person.
Museums typically depend on patrons being able to stroll through their exhibitions, but the shift to online has offered a simpler way to spark creativity and inspiration from home. The Maude Kerns Art Center, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Karin Clarke Gallery are among the many who have converted their exhibitions to be entirely online and have adopted different strategies to allow the general public to view their displays.
The Maude Kerns Art Center and the Karin Clarke Gallery have uploaded images of exhibits so that anyone can engage with the art, read about the artists and experience the full exhibition from anywhere at no cost. The JSMA has taken a different approach, offering a series of YouTube videos that include exhibit talks with artists, art lessons, gallery talks, one minute scans of exhibits and other videos that offer an in-depth artistic experience from home.
As far as learning art techniques go, there are plenty of opportunities for both safe in-person learning and online learning. The Maude Kerns Art Center has an incredibly robust program that continues to offer in-person classes and workshops for all skill levels in Eugene. The classes are typically eight weeks long and include an extensive educational experience. The workshops are less expensive and typically include a shorter but still educational session.
The selection of online art classes are endless whether that be through free, instructional YouTube videos or via an established school for a cost. The University of Oregon Craft Center has shifted its workshops to an online format so students and the general public can take advantage of their classes via Zoom. The prices for these workshops are reasonable, ranging from $5 to $30. Currently the roster of workshops includes drawing, painting, woodworking and ceramics.Oregon Art Supply is also offering online workshops and classes via Zoom that range from $30 to $150, but are typically $100, and cover a range of skills and mediums including beginners classes, watercolor, drawing, patchwork and many others.
The UO School of Music and Dance has been keeping performing arts in Eugene alive with its YouTube channel that is full of dance and orchestral music videos featuring student performers.The Shedd Institute is still offering music classes for all ages and a wide variety of instruments. These classes include private lessons for anyone of any skill level as well as group classes for certain age groups and skill levels.
While it may seem impossible to get involved with a new hobby in such a complicated time period, art truly is always within reach in some form. As art adapts with the changing times, the ways it can be created and consumed change with it, allowing anyone to find it and learn from it anytime and anywhere.