Museum video series, “Art Sprouts,” blooms during quarantine
University of Arizona Museum of Art staff are taking to YouTube to bring family-friendly art activities to the Tucson community with a program called Art Sprouts.
Art Sprouts originally was an in-person museum program, focused on combining story time and art making. The program was on hiatus when the COVID-19 crisis hit and the museum closed.
Chelsea Farrar, the museum’s Curator of Community Engagement, saw an opportunity to reach out to the Tucson arts community, especially young families by repurposing Art Sprouts.
“We didn’t have Art Sprouts as a program at the museum, and then as soon as quarantine happened, everything started to shift and I proposed bringing the program back temporarily to see how we could be of service to the community,” said Farrar.
Now Art Sprouts: Home Edition focuses on providing young children ages 2-5 with activities that they can participate in from the safety of their own homes.
In the videos, Farrar and a lucky volunteer (one of her children), work step-by-step on an art project made from things they find around the house. In the first clip, Farrar and her youngest child, Elliot, demonstrate how to create a drawing robot from items such as a cup, markers, an electric toothbrush motor and sticks.
“I first start with what we have access to in our house and what I think other people are going to have access to, and that starts to dictate what we’re going to do,” said Farrar.
Before making the videos, Farrar said that it was easy for her to fill her time scrolling through social media and doing chores around the house, but working on art helps give her life meaning.
“In the first couple of weeks, art was kind of my respite, it was a place I could kind of go to in the middle of the day, or really more at the end of the day, to just kind of focus on something that was important to me,” said Farrar.
Although Farrar said there’s nothing quite like the joy she gets from interacting with children and parents at the museum, she hopes that her videos will give people a sense of creativity and purpose during this time.
“It’s an evolving process as we’re figuring out different ways that we can hopefully add meaning to people’s lives overall,” said Farrar.