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Arts Everywhere brings art studio online to inspire creativity for UNC community

unc arts from home.jpg
UNC students paint in the Morrison Art Studio. Arts Everywhere is bringing the Morrison Art Studio online, sending out emails with activity prompts. Photo courtesy of Haley France.

Arts Everywhere is bringing a variety of art media into the digital sphere for the UNC community’s enjoyment. 

Associate Director Kathryn Wagner said the idea to move online came from a desire to address the isolation that many people are feeling. 

“I don’t know that it was even a question — it was just something we knew we had to try and put together,” Wagner said. 

One part of Arts Everywhere’s plan is to bring Morrison Art Studio projects online. During the school year, Morrison Art Studio serves as a location for students to create art while relaxing. 

The Arts Everywhere At Home initiative is designed to inspire continued art creation wherever students are quarantining. 

An Arts Everywhere At Home email from April 3 suggested activities like drawing mandalas for stress relief and tension. It reminded students: “Don’t forget to add some color to your finished product!”

In the email, Arts Everywhere also attached online tutorials to make a miniature Pikachu, a paper crane and an origami butterfly — all made out of sticky notes. 

Wagner said it was important to emphasize accessible and inexpensive materials when planning the online crafts.

“We’re definitely not expecting that someone’s going to have watercolors at home, but things like line art or doodling can be done with limited resources,” Wagner said. 

Arts Everywhere is also encouraging students to post their creations to social media by using #UNCArtFromHome. 

Rupali Saini, a UNC junior and digital marketing assistant at Arts Everywhere, said it has been fun to look at the varied submissions. 

“It’s really exciting to see them come in, and we love to repost them and share them on our platforms,” Saini said. 

Arts Everywhere’s initiatives are stretching beyond visual art and will also include performances. 

Crystal Wu, marketing and development communications manager for Arts Everywhere, said it was important to still showcase the variety of students who were scheduled to perform this spring. Amid COVID-19, many student organizations have had to cancel performances

She said Arts Everywhere had partnered with the UNC Department of Music to create pop-up concerts on campus. 

When in-person classes were canceled, they wanted to transition the pop-up parties to stream their performances on Facebook. 

“It’s not exactly the same as going to a live concert, but hopefully it’ll be a nice, creative interruption to people’s day,” Wu said. 

Wu said there has already been positive reception to the performances, both from viewers and from the performers involved. 

In light of UNC’s announcement that all summer classes will be taught remotely, Saini said Arts Everywhere is prepared to continue their online programming through the summer. 

Wagner said flexibility and accessibility is a core aspect of Arts Everywhere’s mission, and these times make those values especially apparent. 

She emphasized that people have very different entry points into art. She said her goal is to provide all art enthusiasts an opportunity for creative release in this time of isolation. 

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“A huge lesson that a lot of arts institutions can learn is how this time — as challenging as it may be — inspired us to think outside of the box with getting art out to people in a new way,” Wagner said.