Creative Minds Combat Pandemic Blues with Art in Public Spaces

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Sanders began posting her illustrations on Instagram and in her newsletter, which were met with comments and emails from people who resonated with her art.

By Arielle Tiangco for The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
© 2021 The Optimist Daily – All Rights Reserved

Creative Minds Combat Pandemic Blues with Art in Public Spaces

The Covid-19 health crisis has made the winter blues particularly more intense this season. However, as we emerge from a particularly dark and lonely season and into spring, it is important to acknowledge the creative minds that have fought the gloom of the pandemic by uplifting public spaces, supermarkets, and office spaces with color and art.

Think Food Bank. The health crisis has been trying on all of us, but it has been particularly hard on households who struggle with food insecurity. Food banks are doing all they can to support those in need, but supplies are often stretched thin.

Designers Maisie Benson and Holly Kietly decided to use art to remind the public that any resources or extra groceries they can contribute to their local food banks are needed and greatly appreciated. The duo created Think Food Bank, a movement that uses simple but bold stickers that depict key items that food banks need. Benson and Kietly posted their sticker designs on the Think Food Bank’s Instagram and were swamped with requests. They “envisage the stickers being stuck on shelves, trolleys, baskets—anywhere in supermarkets that might just remind someone to pick up some extra items,” said Kietly.

Some of their quirky stickers urge shoppers to “be nice, buy rice twice,” or “don’t forgetti, donate spaghetti.”

Good Measures. Walking in public spaces can feel desolate and alien these days with instructions to “keep your distance,” “wear a mask,” or “wash your hands.”

Two creative businesses, vinyl print house Puck Studio and interior design firm InterestingProjects, created Good Measures, a fun collection of stickers that offers a bright alternative to the rigidity of hazard signs or hazard tapes.

The collaboration saw that the common signage risked becoming a sort of visual white noise and wanted their alternative to continue emphasizing the importance of adhering to the instructions for public health and safety. To achieve this effect, they decided to use the colors traditionally used for safety signage but added other shades, patterns, and optical illusions.

Morag Myerscough. UK artist Morag Myerscough (pictured above) urged the public to reject “a new normal” with the creation of a bright and jubilant sculpture that stood tall in Paris between October and December of last year. Instead of “normal,” Myerscough wants us to use the time we have had to collectively reflect on what’s truly important in life to rebuild “a new now” post-Covid. According to her, “we need to find and embrace ways of moving forward here and now. We are in the midst of seismic changes and we must aim to make a better, sustainable world.”

We Will Be Close Again. US author Ella Frances Sanders has spent the time afforded to her by the pandemic creating a quirky and sentimental collection of illustrations based on the theme of missed human interactions and experiences.

She illustrates “hugs as hellos,” or passengers looking out of shared train windows. These simple life moments that were once taken for granted are now what we miss most as social beings. In January of this year, Sanders began posting her illustrations on Instagram and in her newsletter, which were met with comments and emails from people who resonated with her art.

By Arielle Tiangco for The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
© 2021 The Optimist Daily – All Rights Reserved

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