Creative Comforts

Creative Comforts

The past few weeks have been difficult for us all. Social distancing and shelter-in-place ordinances have kept our staff at home and away from the galleries and studios, where many of us find inspiration on a daily basis. Our new work routines have been challenging and intense, and finding creative outlets to cope with the stress and uncertainty of this current time have been important for our team. We thought it would be fun to share a few things we’ve been doing from home when we are not on Zoom calls, planning for when we reopen, and keeping in touch with you via social media. We hope you’ll enjoy and share your own creative efforts with us in the comments below or by tagging @thegibbesmuseum of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Crochet Baby Blanket

Becca Hiester, our associate curator of education, has enjoyed making time to crochet a baby blanket for a friend’s new little one. Talk about spreading warmth and love – and the bright colors are so uplifting!

Podcasts and books

Erin Glaze Nathanson, director of contemporary initiatives and public engagement, has been working hard to launch our new online store so you can shop while the Museum is closed, but is also finding artistic edification through several art-related podcasts such as “I Like Your Work” and “The Modern Art Notes Podcast.” She’s also keeping in touch the old-fashioned way by making her own watercolor postcards and writing short notes to friends and family.

Somewhat work related, but scratching a creative itch, preparator Chris Pelletier is learning a new software system called Autodesk Sketchbook, which will help with planning logistics for installations and other projects in the galleries when we reopen. Before the shift to working from home, Chris had made casts of some of the unique architectural features and fixtures of the Museum’s Beaux-Arts building. As a skilled sculptor, he has been imagining ways to reinterpret these functional forms into something more creative.

Art History Books

To keep inspired, Assistant Curator Amanda Breen has been breaking out some of her old art history textbooks to peruse, and listening to one of her favorite art history podcasts, “ArtCurious” with Jennifer Dasal. Following other museums on social media provides Amanda with a boost of encouragement to see how cultural institutions around the world are working through these new challenges in creative ways. She also relies on to see what’s going on in the art world during this strange and surreal time.

Azalea Gardens, before 1952, by Eola Willis

Azalea Gardens, before 1952, by Eola Willis (American, 1856 – 1952); Oil on canvas; 28 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches; Gibbes Museum of Art, Bequest of Anna Fisher (1953.004.0001)

Chase Quinn has been taking breaks from his role as manager of our Instagram feed to enjoy the springtime weather with a solitary run. The beautiful vistas of Charleston’s parks, architecture, and shoreline remind him of many of the paintings in the Gibbes Museum’s Collection. He’s been listening to podcast and following the art-filled feed of @susan_holloway_scott_author on Instagram to refuel his creative juices.

Doodling with Mo Willems

Director of Education and Digital Engagement, Lasley Steever has taken short creative breaks during the day with her son for lunchtime doodles with author and illustrator Mo Willems. The short lunchtime doodle sessions are freeing and allow for a mindset reset before jumping back on another Zoom call.

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