HomeArticlesCreative ways to indulge in the arts during the coronavirus crisis

Creative ways to indulge in the arts during the coronavirus crisis

Creative pursuits can service as a soothing antidote to anxiety and stress. So now more than ever, it’s a good time to indulge your inner artist — and encourage your kids to do the same.

The Valley’s art scene has responded with its own creative talents, finding ways to make instruction, activities and inspiration available online — or in easy pickup packets — for children, and their grownups, too.

A Gila monster drawing lesson by Shemer Art Center instructor and colored-pencil artists Elliott Everson is part of the center’s free, downloadable activity book.

Shemer Art Center

Participate in one of Shemer Art Center’s many art classes from the comfort of your own home. The center has converted many of its in-person art classes to virtual classes, created a new app, and made a custom art activity book available online.

“We want our students, as well as artists from all across the Valley, to be able to continue creating art, even if they have to do so from home,” said Shonna James, president and executive director, in a statment. Weekly lessons and daily instructor feedback are available, with registration for the next class session, starting the week of April 13, now open.

Anyone interested in downloading the new app on an iPhone can do so by searching for Shemer Art Center in the App store, and soon via Google Play for Android phones.

The new art activity book is a free download. It features a compilation of images sketched by instructors from the art center for coloring or painting, and a step-by-step drawing lesson. “It offers something for families and artists of all ages to do together at home during these challenging times,” said James.

A featured watercolor project in the virtual “happy hour” classes held Thursday evenings at Carrie Curran Art Studio in Scottsdale.

Carrie Curran Art Studio

Scottsdale’s Carrie Curran Art Studios has an April calendar loaded with live Virtual Watercolor Classes for all ages. Parents can join a “happy hour” watercolor class on Thursday evenings or invite the kids to join Family Art watercolor classes on Saturday afternoons. Cost is $30-$35. Use your own watercolor supplies, or order an art kit for curbside pick-up at the studio.

When last we checked, there were still a few spots available for Virtual After School Art Classes for kids ages 6-12, from 3:20-3:45 p.m. on Tuesdays. Price for nine-week session, which begins Tuesday, April 7, is $290. Visit the studio’s calendar for details.

As You Wish, pottery painting, virtual class
A screen grab from a recent virtual class on the As You Wish Facebook page.

As You Wish Pottery Painting Studios

Pick up a paint-at-home pottery pack to go at six Valley As You Wish studios. Order pottery and paints online, then swing by to pick it up within 24 hours. The studios also offer Classes and Projects To Go, plus Art Canvas Projects to go and kid-friendly Coloring Book Canvas projects to go.

Visit the As You Wish Facebook page for periodic live virtual art classes. A recent session focused on color blocking and creating a beautiful desert landscape.

Art Fun Parties
Art Fun Parties are free for kids and take advantage of materials you probably already have at home.

Art Fun Parties

Paradise Valley artist Shanna Israel just kicked off a series of free online art classes for kids, called Art Fun Parties, that will run during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can use art supplies they find around the house: paper, a cardboard box, glue, stickers, rocks and more, so there is no need to go outside to shop for supplies.

Shanna’s next party is Passover themed and scheduled for this Wednesday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. To see a full line-up of upcoming virtual art events for kids, visit: https://www.artfunparties.com/new-page. To attend these free events, visit https://www.facebook.com/artfunpartiesonline/.

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