Thu, 26 Mar 2020
Coronavirus has already had a devastating effect on the hospitality and entertainment industries, with venues closing their doors to the public and tours cancelled until further notice. Actors, musicians and artists, largely self-employed, have seen their sources of income disappear overnight.
While not on this current scale, the arts have been through some tough periods over the past 40 years, but each time have come up with ever-more creative solutions to pull through.
Many of my artist friends have told me about cancelled exhibitions, museum, gallery and craft fair closures and no more teaching opportunities. The Corn Exchange, its Learning Centre and visual arts venue The Base are closed until further notice. The popular Open Studios Scheme, the May showcase for more than 100 artists and makers, who open their studios and workshops to the public, has been called off. They have already invested in a glossy directory and work to sell to visitors and now that opportunity is lost.
In order to keep our local artists’ work in the public eye, newburytoday and N2, inside your Newbury Weekly News each week, is offering to build up a virtual gallery. If you are an artist or maker living in the West Berkshire, North Hampshire and East Wiltshire areas, whose livelihood is wholly or largely dependent on your creative work, please send us your profile, tell us a little about your work, philosophy and techniques, together with eight examples of your work and we will print as many as we can over the coming weeks, adding you to our new online gallery at newburytoday.
We are kickstarting this new initiative today with the work of painter Jane Skingley whose atmospheric landscapes and seascapes provide a sense of calm in these uncertain times.
Never have the arts been more important.