Covid-19 and lockdown have brought numerous challenges to students completing their Arts Award. It may seem difficult to learn new art forms, skillshare with friends, and keep on track with the action plan you set out before Coronavirus hit.
Well, I’m here to say - don’t fret! Whilst no doubt lockdown has brought a change in the situation, with a few tips and adaptations, you’ll be continuing on your Arts Award journey in no time.
Learn a new skill at home
So you might not be able to practice music with your orchestra ensemble or go to dance class with your friends, but there are plenty of new skills that you can pick up whilst at home. To what level you chose to practice these skills is dependent on your level of Arts Award, but never discount the free online guides that are available to help you upskill your artistic future.
Photography is available to all who had a smartphone within their grasp, and a how-to article from Google. Use your exercise to get out the house and get snapping. Don’t forget to record your evidence of progress for your Arts Award portfolio.
Origami is a perfect past time for the student who wants to get down into the details of a new art form. All you need is some squared paper and nifty fingers for precision folding. It might be handy to watch a YouTube tutorial whilst trying out origami to follow along with an expert.
Coding is a creative skill which will undoubtedly serve you well in the future. Websites such as Code Academy offer free online courses to help the binary beginner get to grips with coding.
Now remember - reflection is a key part of Arts Award at any level, so do remember to keep track of your progress. For example, you might choose to collect evidence through screenshots of laptop screens, photos of work, or diary entries.
Whether you are learning a skill from scratch or picking it up at an intermediate level, do keep reflecting on how this is impacting your art practice.
You can still skillshare
Skill-sharing is an exciting part of your Arts Award which requires students to share a glimpse of their art form with a group of family, friends, or fellow Arts Award participants. It could well be that this is seen as the most challenging aspect of the award to complete under a ‘stay at home’ order, yet with a few hints and a stable internet connection, you have nothing to fear
Firstly, consider skill-sharing with those who are in your household. Whether you’re living with family or a group of friends, why not arrange one afternoon or evening to teach your housemates a new skill. This could be as simple as learning to sketch basic shapes or playing around with literature and inventing haikus and limericks. Remember, planning is key for delivering your skill-share session. Whichever art form you plan to pass onto your group, ensure this is suitable for a range of capabilities.
Alternatively, you may aim to skill-share with a different group of people - people who you can’t see in real life due to social distancing. This is where Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts come in! Whichever platform you chose, virtual skill-sharing is a fantastic method to teach your friends a new skill during lockdown.
Keep in mind the planning element for online skill-sharing sessions too. Scheduling a call well in advance is a good idea in order to make sure your group don’t have any other online commitments. It’s also worth creating a detailed plan of timings within your call to ensure you keep to schedule.
So, whether you chose to skill-share in person, it could well be that this section of your Arts Award doesn’t look as you expected a couple of months ago. Reflect on these adaptations in your report and consider how this has impacted you artistically.
Stay critically engaged with art
One of the best ways we can stay critically engaged in art during lockdown is by joining Hangout with Voice. These weekly sessions take place online at 5pm each Wednesday. The Voice team, joined with any inquisitive young creatives, discuss a different art form each week. If you’re looking for a friendly, informal gathering to keep your art topped up, then you can find the details here.
A straightforward method for engaging with art hasn’t changed since lockdown. We would encourage you to pick up a book or search Voice for articles to read around culture, art and your chose art form. If reading isn’t your thing then there are plenty of podcasts to quench this thirst. Why not start with John Green’s Anthropocene Reviewed?
Lastly, staying critically engaged with art is all about contemplation. After listening to an episode of your favourite art podcast, take 15 minutes to jot down some thoughts around the subject discussed. Alternatively, consider how the lockdown situation has impacted your own art practice.