#AIRArtShare: Promoting Creativity in the Time of Covid

Photograph submitted by AIR teen, Dani B.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has uprooted life as usual. Our migratory lifestyles have gone stationary. The NH Governor has issued a stay-at-home order and social distancing has become an essential practice for stopping this burgeoning pandemic. Our homes have become our schools and offices, and our devices have transformed into social venues. At Arts in Reach we believe that if you can’t go outward… go inward! 

The great French-American artist, Louise Bourgeois once said, “Art is a guarantee of sanity.” This is an important reminder in this unprecedented and anxiety-ridden period of physical disconnection and uncertainty. And Louise is right! Artmaking of all kinds has enormous benefits across the biopsychosocial spectrum. It lowers our cortisol (the stress hormone) and raises our serotonin (a chemical that increases feelings of wellbeing),1 and it produces alpha and theta brainwaves, which helps us feel relaxed and in the moment.2 Artmaking satisfies the human desire to create order, which is especially needed right now. It gives us a vehicle for eradicating negative emotions from the body. We’re able to ascribe musical, physical, or visual form to our feelings via line, color, body movement, or note.

To help you connect to your creative channels and each other, Arts in Reach is bringing you a series of creative prompts on our social media platforms (Facebook & Instagram). Released biweekly (midweek and weekend), these prompts are intended to incite creative spark. They can be interpreted literally, abstractly, or not at all – as long as you’re making! The ultimate purpose is to create and then share what we make with each other. We will be collecting submissions for a post-Covid virtual gallery. This project is open to the public because we think the creative community we offer our teens should be available to everyone right now. 

The Details! 

  • To submit, use the hashtag, “#AIRArtShare,” on your social media posts, DM us on FB or IG, or email [email protected]
  • All creative mediums are welcome and you don’t need to submit a finished or polished work to participate. We love seeing/hearing preparatory works or those in process. 
  • There is no timeline for the prompts. As mentioned, we’ll be unveiling 2 per week, but take all the time you need for your creative adaptations. 

The Sources! 

  1. How Creativity Works in the Brain: a 2015 study co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts 
  2. EEG Correlates of the Flow State: a 2018 study published by Frontiers in Psychology

Our first prompt! Unveiled on March 18th.

Community member, Sam Wiebkin, submitted a multimedia response to a Tame Impala song.

Our second prompt, released on March 22, explores duality.

A poignant drawing submitted by AIR teen, Lexie B.

AIR Alumna, Aiyana D., loves playing Mario Cart, but is most frustrated by the Rainbow Road!

Prompt #3 asked participants to recreate a dream, or make something surreal, absurd, or unexpected!

A mesmerizing abstract by AIR alumna, Mea S., in pen, ink, and marker.