At the end of March 2020, we all faced the reality of the COVID-19 Pandemic affecting the world. Many of us were not ready for the impact it would have on our daily lives. At the EC, closing our doors for on-site supports was a thing that we never imagined we’d have to do. The safety of the EC Artists + Staff was of utmost importance, without them there would be no EC.
During that first week with our studio closed, we worked on alternatives inspired by subscription boxes, the likes of Loot Crate and Sketch Box.
Our first package went out two weeks after our studio closed with an Art Challenges related to Mixed Media, sending 3 familiar mediums and 2 unfamiliar mediums to be explored. This idea was later expanded to focus on the Art History of a single medium such as collaging. We got the hang of this new form of providing supports before expanding to the next phase meant to be as much similar to attending program on-site.
Our next phase consisted of offering different workshops similar to how we would do during regular operations. Every 13-weeks the EC Artists sign-up for new workshops, through this alternative we have been able to increase our capacity per workshop. In the past we’d have a limited amount of slots per workshop, through visual printed workshops we were able to offer a workshop to as many artists wanting to join. This phase also including the start of video conferencing, we used this time to socialize; play trivia, watch videos of virtual galleries and work on drawing challenges.
The new phase we are in not only includes the mailing of visual printed workshops and materials, but also includes designated video conferencing days for each workshop. During video conferencing workshops artists receive instruction, demos and work time with the EC Instructors. We’ve been slowly able to provide devices for artists with wi-fi to join video conferencing.
Our Alternative Services are sign-up based, some artists sign-up for mail-workshops and video conferencing, some sign-up for only one or the other and some our opting out waiting for the reopening of the Studio.
Recently with the support of many we are able to announce our July 12, 2021 soft-reopening of our Studio. As excited as we all are, the EC Artists + Staff, we are also weary and will follow the strictest regulations.