Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, and other U.K. artists created a downloadable art-making activity pack.

Daria Simone Harper
Mar 31, 2020 4:41PM, via The Guardian

Antony Gormley at the White Cube Gallery, London. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA Images via Getty Images

The Firstsite art center in Colchester in the U.K. launched a downloadable artist activity pack to help keep us all engaged and creative during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The activity pack, called “Art is where the home is,” includes contributions from critically acclaimed artists including Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Vanley Burke, Ryan Gander, Idris Khan, and Annie Morris.

Sally Shaw, director at Firstsite, said that the idea came from activity books her mother would give her over summer breaks. In a statement quoted by The Guardian, she said:

I was reminded of that as all this stuff was kicking off so I thought, let’s do it. [...] We know lots of artists, let’s make the ultimate artists’ activity pack with all the best people you could possibly think of in it.

The project asks artists to create a fun activity that will fit on an A4-sized sheet of paper, and that doesn’t require any special equipment to be completed. Though the activities are especially geared toward children and young people, they should also encourage collaboration between people of all ages.

Shaw stated in a press release:

The mission of Firstsite is to empower people, no matter their background, to be creative together and lead happier and healthier lives—by providing them with new creative opportunities and promoting imaginative responses to contemporary issues. Creating this activity pack is something we are able to do to help support everyone, building a virtual creative community to help combat feelings of isolation and anxiety.

“Art is where the home is” became available for download on April 3rd on the Firstsite website. It is one of many recent artist-led initiatives being developed in light of pandemic-induced social isolation. Just last week, Perry announced plans for a new television show premiering on Channel 4 that will help confined viewers make art.

Update: April 3rd, 2020

The Artist Activity Packs were made available to download from the Firstsite website today. This article has been updated to reflect this.

Further Reading: How 10 Artists Are Staying Creative through COVID-19

Further Reading: Museums, Curators, and Artists Find Innovative Solutions for Showing Art in a Pandemic

Daria Simone Harper