Quarantine life has given us the chance to run through shows that we never would have time for and try food from local restaurants that we’ve never visited, but it’s also presented an opportunity to stimulate our creativity and escape the monotony of staying indoors. As 20th-century writer Thomas Merton once wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” At times like this, we need inspiration, and these museums, galleries, and arts establishments in Atlanta are virtually supplying it.
With social events, workshops, and must-see exhibitions always taking place, the High Museum of Art has always been more than just an art museum. Now, even while closed to the public, it aims to keep that sentiment going. In addition to providing online access to its galleries, the High is staying connected with its patrons through DIY at-home art activities, a curator-led video series, educational resources, and additional digital content -- all at no charge.
The Center for Puppetry Arts has pushed through the pandemic by offering a wealth of virtual programming. The Center has daily puppet-related activities available for free, including puppet-making DIYs, online museum tours, and archival screenings. There’s also paid programming available for teenagers and adults, where you can learn techniques like how to make your own jointed rod puppet.
The arts extend much further than paintings and sculptures. Performing arts, from music to theatre, also fall under the umbrella, and the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in Midtown is one of the leading forces in Atlanta’s theatrical arts. It’s doors are closed, but you can still interact with the playhouse online. It’s educational department has made many of its performances available and past digital workshops available for free until May 22.
For those itching to improve their design skills, the Museum of Design Atlanta is offering online classes, embroidery tutorials, and a bevy of virtual workshops. Their virtual Drink in Design events feature lectures from accomplished designers from Atlanta, and their extensive workshop offerings cover several interesting topics -- including storytelling, sticker design, entrepreneurship, and narrative healing.
Regardless if it’s hung in an art gallery or posted to your refrigerator, art is still art, so don’t let a lack of artistic expertise prevent you from letting your creative juices flow. With its new Outside the Lines Coloring Book, FreeMarket Gallery has put together an art experience that all ages can enjoy. The coloring book features 12 original coloring designs from Atlanta artists, and it’s available as a printable pdf and a physical booklet.
Although piling into Symphony Hall for an evening concert isn’t an option right now, you can still get your fix of classical and chamber music from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Virtual Stage. On-demand concerts, interviews with ASO musicians, and behind the scenes footage are all available for free, and you can also tune in to live streamed performances from ASO ensembles.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia has also transitioned to an online experience, and their chief exhibition is currently a nod to the contributions of Georgia’s Hispanic/Latinx artists to contemporary art. The entire collection is available on MOCA’s website along with other digital content, from learning activities to virtual puzzles based on pieces from its permanent collection.
While it’s technically not a virtual arts experience, this final experience is one of Atlanta's most innovative responses to COVID-19 yet. The Creatives Project recently announced DRIVE THRU ATL, a parking lot art exhibition that you can experience from the comfort and safety of your car. The drive-through gallery is set to open in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to TCP for updates.
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Joshua Robinson is a contributor for Thrillist and a creative with a new checklist of things to do.