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Locked out of galleries, Londoners find Caravaggio street art – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Londoners locked out of galleries can find an alternative art fix on a wall under under some railway arches after street artist Lionel Stanhope painted a Caravaggio classic, updated for the coronavirus age.

The Italian baroque master’s “Supper at Emmaus” is usually available to view at the National Gallery in London, but with that shut, Stanhope’s giant interpretation is now on show in Ladywell, southeast London.

Lockdown has given the artist the time and the quieter streets to replicate a painting he said he has always admired and wanted to do on a large scale.

“I thought I wanted something that was going to take me some time, you know, quite a long time to do, just to get through the days of not doing anything else, so that’s why I took it on,” Stanhope told Reuters.

The artist is best known for his giant green and gold place-name murals near railway stations, a trend which in recent years has fostered local pride and provided a backdrop for outdoor food markets.

But since the virus shut down normal life in March, the 52-year-old artist has been unable to carry on with his commissions, and has instead turned his attention to the pandemic.

Caravaggio’s 1601 painting depicts a resurrected Jesus appearing to two of his disciples at a table spread with a meal. In Stanhope’s spray-painted version, Jesus is wearing surgical gloves.

“Christ is wearing a pair of blue gloves, just to make it relevant for today of what we’re all going through,” Stanhope said.

He also recently completed a mural tribute to healthcare workers under a bridge near London’s busiest rail station, Waterloo, and close to St Thomas’s hospital, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated for COVID-19.

Stanhope asked Network Rail, owner of the bridge, if they had a wall he could use to say thank you to the National Health Service. In the mural, the NHS acronym is given the superman treatment and seen bursting from a blue chest in red and yellow.

“There’s a lot of street artists doing a lot of NHS work at the moment which is really nice to see,” Stanhope said by phone, adding that the pandemic was giving more meaning to street art.

“I think a lot more street artists that I know of, who would normally paint their own kind of work, are just putting a twist on it to make it relevant, and to maybe thank the NHS or key workers, or message about the coronavirus,” he said.

His Caravaggio is hidden away in a cul de sac but he said people were heading down on their daily lockdown exercise to have a look, and he had enjoyed the positive response on social media.

But now, after using up all his spare paint, he is keen to get back to real life.

“I need some paid work now … I’m hoping that on Sunday when we hear about the government’s proposals that I might be able to start doing some other work,” he said.

The government will review the lockdown this week and the Prime Minister is expected to set out a roadmap for easing restrictions on Sunday.

(Editing by Stephen Addison)

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Drive-by art tour aims to drum up support for artists, performers – CollingwoodToday

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NEWS RELEASE
RAW ARTISTS
*************************
RAW Artists announce the National Arts Drive,  a three-hour community experience on Saturday, June 6, 2020, spanning throughout Canada, United States and Mexico. Local artists will showcase their work while respecting social distancing – from windows, balconies, driveways, front lawns, workspaces, or appropriate commercial spaces. Community supporters are invited to visit participating local artists, performers, musicians and designers living in their community from a safe distance.

Collingwood resident and Orillia native Michelle Bylow is leading the charge in bringing the drive to Canada and Northern Ontario Communities.

“We are using all the resources available to us to continue our mandate of artists supporting artists,” said Bylow, executive director of RAW Artists Canada. “The drive will give artists visibility and financial support from their communities. 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the creatives”.

The Orillia & District Arts Council has joined as a community partner to help spread the word to Orillia and area artists.

“The success of the Drive will depend on getting the word out to artists and their communities.  We are thrilled to be working with the Orillia Arts Council and look forward to supporting the Orillia artistic community”, said Bylow.

The driving tour will be paired with a mobile website designed and built by RAW Artists. Art showcases will be identified on a map within the app, enabling drivers to plan their routes. Using the site, visitors can support artists by liking, following and/or sharing artists’ work via social media, tipping artists through a touch-free pay app (i.e. Venmo, PayPal), and/or making future purchases from the artists online. All donations go directly to the artists.

Bylow and her team are aiming to register 10,000 Canadian artists for the event. RAW supports 10 different verticals within the arts community – film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, beauty, accessories, photography, craft and technology. There is no charge for artists to participate, and they do not have to be members of RAW.

For more information on RAW Artists’ National Arts Drive, visit this website or this website.

About RAW Artists:

Founded in 2009, RAW is the largest independent, international arts organization in the world. RAW’s mission is to serve independent artists with the tools, resources, education and exposure needed to thrive and succeed in their creative careers. RAW is an online and offline platform that has showcased over 200k artists in 70 cities across the globe in multi-faceted arts events that draw crowds of 1,000+ attendees.

Due to the “Stay at Home” orders issued by the Canadian government; RAW Artists Canada has halted regular operations since March 15, 2020.  

******************** 

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In Case of Emergency, Make Art – The New York Times

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I was a firefighter for many years. But because it was more than a decade ago, it often seems like another person wore those turnout boots, cinched that ax belt and ran into burning buildings. Yet when the Covid-19 pandemic hit a few months ago, my old first-responder instincts rose up.

I wanted to be of use. But I’d let my E.M.T. certification lapse, so the only thing I was really good for was staying at home. This was important, of course, but as someone trained to spring into action in the face of death and destruction, it also left me restless and dispirited. I became that annoying friend who harangued you about food supplies early on and inserted the numbers of daily deaths and projected casualties into every conversation, so that even my own family told me that I made them anxious and that they wouldn’t speak to me unless I stopped.

Once schools started to close, my wife, the illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, wondered whether we could offer a free live drawing class for kids. For a week, she said, a half-hour every school day. Why not, I thought. It wasn’t the front lines. But it would be a nice distraction. It would be a service to the harried parents. Besides I was the only other human in the house. Someone had to hold the camera.

We used what we had on hand: a smartphone and Instagram Live. It was a rinky-dink operation, but these were rinky-dink times. Kids love Wendy in real life (though we ourselves are kidless) and sure enough, once the camera turned on, Wendy was just the person you’d want your children to hang out with during a pandemic: funny, carefree, willing to wear an assortment of colorful hats, yet also steady and soothing.

The response was immediate. Parents were grateful for what I saw as cyberbabysitting. One week of videos turned into two, then three. And something strange happened. What first seemed to me to be a simple feel-good endeavor for children — Grab some crayons! Draw a dinosaur! — was actually something more.

“The first time I’ve seen him relax and focus today,” one adult said of her child, via email. Another said, “We are only a week into this home schooling thing and drawing is the only thing that my daughter is still interested in.” For all of us life had turned strange, but for kids this new reality resembled a sudden, undeserved timeout — play dates were prohibited, outdoor sports were canceled, simple routines were now upended. Yet something about drawing was providing a much-needed intervention. “My 7-year-old usually can’t sit still for five minutes,” a caregiver wrote. “But he draws for the whole 30 minutes.”

Credit…Family photo

It helped that Wendy’s on-camera persona was a mixture of Mr. Rogers and a Cirque du Soleil unicyclist. She instinctively understood when to draw calming spirals and when to scribble wildly. Her rambunctious illustrations, silly dances and rotating art smocks, along with her there-are-no-mistakes-in-art attitude clicked with her kid audience. “Swoop outside the lines! Put polka dots on that tiger!” she’d exclaim. But there was something besides a zany master of ceremonies going on here. Adults reported that their children were drawing long after class was over. This was about the act of artmaking itself.

“It’s a symbolic language for your internal world,” Sarah Rubin, a psychotherapist who has been incorporating art into her work for decades, said when I asked why drawing was so absorbing for children during this crisis. “Everything that’s going on gets lodged unconsciously. This is a way to get it out and on paper. Now you can speak about the drawing instead of what’s hard to talk about.”

Ms. Rubin pointed out that, unlike many traumas, such as 9/11, the coronavirus is unfolding slowly. While this is agonizing for many, it is also an opportunity: Kids can work out their emotions while it is happening. This allows a head start on adjustment and healing. “The sooner the better,” she emphasized. “Not down the road.” Ms. Rubin also lauds the kinetic experience that drawing offers. “Art is movement in space,” she explained, much more enthralling than the two-dimensional computer screen used for online schooling.

Research backs up Ms. Rubin’s insights. A 2014 study by Judy Rollins and Ermyn King showed that the children of wounded soldiers who engaged in art activities, including drawing, during hospital visits, communicated better with their injured parent and adjusted faster to their disrupted environment. Other studies show that drawing allows children to visually work out ideas about the surrounding world at a time in their development when the ability to articulate can be outpaced by cascading emotions. Hand a kid colored pencils, in other words, and the trepidation and confusion of the coronavirus pandemic transmutes into striped penguins and swirling fuchsia lines.

School in its various forms is finishing up around the country, giving way to an uncertain summer. This week our #DrawTogether classes ended, too. We graduated tens of thousands of kids from over 40 countries who had drawn dragons and treehouses and heart spirals with us over the past 12 weeks. But the pandemic has not ended. Children will continue to miss their friends, mourn their absent playgrounds and community pools, and absorb adult stresses. Yet when Wendy asked if we should continue as “art camp,” I hesitated at first.

Just months ago, I was a writer; now, I was someone who worried about glare, whether the family dog would wear a weird hat for the class, and how to pan from paint set to paper. Sometimes I didn’t recognize myself (or my wife, who was now stopped on the street by 6-year-olds). But the pandemic, while disorienting, is also full of surprises. We pitch in where it matters, and a truer self can emerge. In my small way, I’ve been a first responder all along; drawing, it’s become clear, is vital first aid for kids.

Caroline Paul (@carowriter) is the author, most recently, of “You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

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Orillia native spearheading entertaining national arts drive – OrilliaMatters

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NEWS RELEASE
RAW ARTISTS
*************************
RAW Artists announce the National Arts Drive,  a three-hour community experience on Saturday, June 6, 2020, spanning throughout Canada, United States and Mexico.

Local artists will showcase their work while respecting social distancing – from windows, balconies, driveways, front lawns, workspaces, or appropriate commercial spaces. Community supporters are invited to visit participating local artists, performers, musicians and designers living in their community from a safe distance.

Collingwood resident and Orillia native Michelle Bylow is leading the charge in bringing the drive to Canada and Northern Ontario Communities.

“We are using all the resources available to us to continue our mandate of artists supporting artists,” said Bylow, executive director of RAW Artists Canada. “The drive will give artists visibility and financial support from their communities. 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the creatives”.

The Orillia & District Arts Council has joined as a community partner to help spread the word to Orillia and area artists.

“The success of the drive will depend on getting the word out to artists and their communities. We are thrilled to be working with the Orillia Arts Council and look forward to supporting the Orillia artistic community,” said Bylow.

The driving tour will be paired with a mobile website designed and built by RAW Artists. Art showcases will be identified on a map within the app, enabling drivers to plan their routes.

Using the site, visitors can support artists by liking, following and/or sharing artists’ work via social media, tipping artists through a touch-free pay app (i.e. Venmo, PayPal), and/or making future purchases from the artists online. All donations go directly to the artists.

Bylow and her team are aiming to register 10,000 Canadian artists for the event. RAW supports 10 different verticals within the arts community – film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, beauty, accessories, photography, craft and technology. There is no charge for artists to participate, and they do not have to be members of RAW.

For more information on RAW Artists’ National Arts Drive, visit this website or this website.

About RAW Artists:

Founded in 2009, RAW is the largest independent, international arts organization in the world. RAW’s mission is to serve independent artists with the tools, resources, education and exposure needed to thrive and succeed in their creative careers. RAW is an online and offline platform that has showcased over 200k artists in 70 cities across the globe in multi-faceted arts events that draw crowds of 1,000+ attendees.

Due to the “Stay at Home” orders issued by the Canadian government; RAW Artists Canada has halted regular operations since March 15, 2020.  

******************** 

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