How to support artists during the covid-19 crisis

Artspring Gallery, Tonbridge

So how can we all support artists in these difficult days?

Art shows have been cancelled.

Exhibitions have been put on hold.

Work that had been laboured over for hours sits quietly. Waiting for the world to re-open.

a busy day at Artspring Gallery

It is going to be a long time until we can look forward to scenes like this again. So how are artists surviving, and what can you do to help?

Here are a few ideas for how you can support artists while galleries are closed:

Keep in touch on social media

You can learn more about the ideas behind an artist’s work by following their posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our artists are sharing their lockdown activities and creations. We encourage you to search them out on social media and say ‘hello‘.

Below is some preparatory work for a painting by Christine Highland, inspired by a quote about the importance of colour from Kandinsky. Kandinsky said “Colour is a power which directly influences the soul“.

I could not agree more.

work in progress | Christine Highland

It is lovely to see the progression from a half finished work to a finished piece in its new home ( and yes; I did spot that the finished work is not the same work…. did you?).

completed work | Christine Highland

Watching an artist develop and understanding their inspirations is a great way to be supportive and get to know them better, or even get ideas for your own work.

Here’s a snippet from Sarah de Mattos’s sketchbook, showing a drawing made with her eyes closed. Having tried this myself, I can recommend it as a calming exercise!

Hearing an artist’s voice is another way to understand them.

What artists choose to share also tells you how they are thinking creatively.

The importance of family is beautifully expressed in this fused glass work by Paul Chave.

Join an art class

Have you ever wanted to try drawing or painting, but been afraid to have a go.

If now is not the time, then when? No one is watching……!

splatter painting – no skill required!

No skills are needed for a bit of splatter painting; you just need to find a bit of space for the mess. But maybe you would like to create something a bit more sophisticated, or learn about art.

Many artists are keeping in touch by running virtual art classes. Some are done in your own time, and others are live, via conferencing facilities such as Zoom. Many classes are free, such as the previously mentioned @isolation art school on Instagram.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of the artist Sally Clark’s felt pen drawings. Something anyone can try at home…. and much less messy than splatter painting. Click on this link to watch the video.

Or you might like to watch a video about how a splatter painting turned into a small artist book about rain.

Rain-Glaw |fish bone fold book |Caroline Fraser

Artspring Gallery is very active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Your support and interest really matters.

Which leads me on to sharing. Sharing on social media is a great way to show how much you value an artist’s posts…….


Have you seen something that inspired you or that you loved?

Then please share it!

By sharing an artist’s work, you help the artistic community to thrive, and support artists with the simple click of a mouse.

I am going to share with you an opportunity to participate in a project by my good friend and artist Nina Rodin, who is collecting handwriting from 1000 individuals to make into an origami artwork about the pandemic and how people are affected by it.

Nina will respond to every participant by post.

You may be surprised by the words that come out when you put pen to paper…. I certainly was.

the-handwriting-project_french subtitles from Nina Rodin-Artist on Vimeo.


Maybe you would just like to support artists financially at this time? There are many ways to do this, and charities are plentiful.

You could just make a cash donation to charity, but the most joyful way to give is to spend money on art itself, for that is how artists make a living and feel validated.

Artist support pledge is one incredibly successful venture to come out of the pandemic.

The concept is a simple one. Artists post images of their work, on Instagram which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each. Anyone can buy the work. Every time an artist reaches £1000 of sales, they pledge to spend £200 on another artist/s work.

It is a win /win situation.

But what about real shops?

If you are anything like me, you are probably missing the opportunities for browsing. Buying gifts for friends and relatives is a challenge right now.

So if it is art or small gifts of jewellery, glass and ceramics that you are interested in, why not visit our Artspring Gallery online shop?

Works are being added all the time behind the scenes, and for now it is the only way that Artspring Gallery can share their work with the world.

If you can’t decide what to buy, particularly for a gift, then a gift voucher is a win-win situation.

make someone happy….

You support local artists, and the recipient gets to choose a piece of art that they genuinely love.

I can’t think of anything better.

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