One of the most famous artists, Pablo Picasso, was born on Oct. 25. And every year, artists and art enthusiasts gather together to celebrate International Artist’s Day, which falls on the same date.
Art is a crucial part of society. Not only does art serve as a device to create societal change, but it also recreates moments and allows people to come together and bond over shared experiences.
Additionally, art can be a way to improve mental health. This is imperative, since mental health issues were severely aggravated by the pandemic. According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, creative expression through art can help with depression and anxiety. It can also help with cognitive decline.
Messages Of Hope
In April 2020, Audrey Azoulay, the director-General of UNESCO, gave a speech on the occasion of World Art Day. This speech, initially in French, spoke to the creation of art created throughout the pandemic.
“Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made absolutely obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “With hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the virus and billions more either in lockdown or battling the pandemic on the front lines, this first celebration of World Art Day is a timely reminder that art has the power to unite and connect in times of crisis.”
What Ms. Azoulay was pointing to was the benefits of creating of art. How even though isolation, it can bring messages of hope and resiliency. It was eyeopening to see information shared through performances, singing on balconies by neighborhoods, and artwork born out of the fear and insecurity.
Last summer, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh shared a piece on art through pandemics of the past. This article highlighted art pieces in the museum, and others created during and after pandemics of the past. This includes a self portrait created by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, who survived the Spanish flu. The piece currently hangs in the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway. Several others included messages on health and resilience, as well as messages against discrimination (like that against LGBT individuals during the HIV epidemic). Overall, the symbolism reflected in these pieces outlasted the test of time, invoking emotions and conversations for generations to come.
10 Grants to Help Artists
- Grants of up to $2,500 to U.S. artists and organizations addressing social and environmental issues through music, fine arts, and photography.
- And there are grants available for U.S., Canada, and International artists for participation in Arts-Based residency programs. Eligible disciplines include: intaglio, letterpress, papermaking, screenprinting, photography, or ceramics.
- In addition, there is funding for U.S. individual artists for creative artistic projects. Priority will be given to applicants addressing topics, subject matter, or audiences that are underserved or marginalized.
- There are also grants of up to $15,000 to U.S., Canada, and International art students and budding artists to pursue career development and training. Eligible use of funds includes travel, living expenses, tuition, and art supplies.
- Grants of up to $15,000 to U.S., Canada, and International professional artists for assistance due to catastrophic incidents and other unforeseen events.
- Funding of up to $2,500 to U.S. and territories eligible artists to address unexpected expenses related to projects and public presentations.
- In addition, there are grants to U.S., Canada, and International individual mature artists to mitigate financial need. Eligible applicants include sculptors, printmakers, and painters who have been working as artists for at least twenty years.
- There is also funding of up to $10,000 to U.S. visual artists for artistic development activities. Applications will be evaluated according to the artistic merit of the applicant’s work and the potential to foster aesthetic inquiry.
- Fellowships of $10,000 to U.S. writers, artists, and media makers for projects on issues related to ethnicity and race. In addition to the fellowship stipend, fellows may request up to $1,500 to fund research or projects.
- Finally, there are grants available to U.S., Canada, and International artists who demonstrate excellence. Participating artists are given exposure, career-enhancing recognition, and cash for demonstrating a serious commitment to their work.