When the rest of the world shut down back in March, so did the MSU Broad Art Lab. Art and creativity, however, are still going strong.
On September 12 from 2-5 p.m., the Art Lab and Solstice Handmade will hold an embroidery workshop entitled “The Lost Sunflower.” The deadline to register for the virtual Zoom event is Monday, August 31.
The workshop will focus on “The Lost Sunflower,” helianthus praetermissus. The species, native to New Mexico, has been extinct since 1851. The event costs $55 and includes instruction, a printed sampler by instructor Dayna Walton, and all materials delivered to your door. It is intended for adults of all skill levels.
MSU Broad Art Museum Director of Communications Morgan Butts spoke about how the Art Lab and the Museum as a whole have been impacted by the pandemic, and about the transitions they’ve made.
“It’s forced us to get creative, but it’s been so empowering to see what creative arts industries are doing to cope with COVID-19,” Butts said.
Before the pandemic, the Art Lab hosted several hands-on workshops each month, led by Michigan artists and Studio Educator, Britta Urness.
“We knew this was something we wanted to continue, so we set out to figure out the best way to take this in-person experience, and make the necessary accommodations for physical distancing,” Butts said. “That’s how we settled on using Zoom as a platform to host these workshops remotely in real-time, while also providing all the materials you’ll need just like we would in-person.”
At a time when many events have had to switch from in-person to virtual settings, art has also become a bit more digitized. Butts said the embroidery workshop is a “hybrid model for making something real and physical, while still using a virtual meeting space like Zoom for the actual instruction.”
“The arts have been hit really hard by the pandemic, but we’re also what many people turn to in times of stress or difficulty,” Butts said. “For the Art Lab in particular, one of its purposes has always been to support and amplify artists in Michigan, so having the opportunity to use our platform to share what artists have been working on, promote the sale of their work, and then launch this workshop series where we can pay them for their instruction or guidance has felt particularly good because we know it’s our responsibility as an arts organization to be doing these things.”
The instructor for September’s workshop is Michigan artist Dayna Walton of Solstice Handmade. This is the third workshop the Kendall College of Art and Design graduate has taught as part of the MSU Broad Art Lab.
“Her work is inspired by the natural world,” Butts said of Walton. “You can see how the connections and systems found in nature are a driving force in her designs.”
While all public workshops will continue to be held virtually based on the CDC recommendations, State of Michigan orders, and MSU guidance, the MSU Broad Art Lab is planning to reopen its doors on Sept. 26 to feature a new exhibition entitled Who is a Citizen?
Again, the deadline to register for the Sept. 12 embroidery workshop is Monday, Aug. 31.