Top Five: May 7, 2020. Ways Artists Are Creating During The Great Lockdown of 2020

by Glasstire May 7, 2020

Christopher Blay is joined by artist Colette Copeland to chat about five ways artists, organizations and spaces continue to get their work in front of an audience during the pandemic shutdown.

“A video check-in feels like a quick and dirty Art:21.”

For last week’s Top Five in which Christina Rees and Brandon Zech pick their top Texas exhibitions using our Five-Minute Tours, please go here.

Glasstire-Five-Minute-Tours1. Virtual Tours

Whether it’s our own Five-Minute Tours, or those from museums across Texas, or on platforms like Google Arts & Culture, we’re taking virtual tours of art exhibitions to keep up with what artists are up to.


2. Build-your-own Shows

Hillerbrand+Magsamen, out of Houston, were scheduled to mount a show of their ongoing Devices project at Austin’s Big Medium in April, but it’s been rescheduled due to coronavirus closures. Ever inventive, the duo-cum-family of artists launched a project called Tiny Big Medium (#tinybigmedium), for which they asked “YOU to install work remotely into the space through a creative tiny paper version of the gallery or a #tinybigmedium!”

Other examples come from Boston’s Shelter In Place Gallery, and UH’s Blaffer Museum’s My Virtual Blaffer, for which artists are invited to create virtual exhibitions using printed pdfs of art spaces or downloaded jpegs of a gallery and filling it with the artists’ own work.



3. Video Conversations

A few months ago, most of us didn’t know what Zoom was. Now it’s the platform for online conversations between gallerists and artists, artists and artists, and critics and curators and artists — including Glasstire’s Checking In With series.

Other video conversations we’re watching include our guest host Colette Copeland’s Arteidolia video series with artist couples, and Erin Cluley Gallery’s Silver Lining series of artist studio visits and conversations.


4. Art Education And Exhibitions

Some artists are also educators, and have had to move teaching online. And most MFA thesis exhibitions at art schools are canceled or postponed due to pandemic closings.

As a workaround, some schools like UTA in Arlington released well-produced PDF brochures of graduate students’ works and statements, while others have offered spaces from which work could be safely viewed, such as Blind Alley Projects in Fort Worth.

For educators, Fotofika, Pandemic Pedagogy, and platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom have come in handy for their online pivots.


5. Film and Video Festivals

Film and video festivals have been the most transferrable events to online platforms. When the lockdown started, most festivals put their content online.

United Video Artists is offering an evolving global online video marathon; CounterCurrent in Houston and Fusebox in Austin both moved their festivals online. Watch Glasstire’s news and listings for more offerings.

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