In an era of social distancing, the art world is adapting to the new normal by swapping physical events for virtual ones, from Frieze New York to Art Basel Hong Kong. What's more, creatives around the world are finding uplifting ways to connect people during a health crisis that is keeping us apart. The Fine Art Quarantine Colouring Book is one result of those efforts.
A collection of colouring pages by emerging and established artists, as selected by curator Brooke Wise, the book is totally free to download, with the option to donate an amount of your choice to charitable organisation Meals on Wheels. The LA-based independent curator, whose projects range from yearly film festivals to group shows, hails from a family of talented creatives. Her sister, Chloe Wise, is one of the most successful visual artists of our generation, and the beauty and elegance of these talented sisters have earned them the title of "The Gigi and Bella Hadid of the Art World”.
The colouring book includes drawings by more than 20 artists such as Haley Mellin, Brittney Scott, and naturally, Chloe Wise. "We're all alone right now, while at the same time being together. My drawing is of friends, gathered together, which is now an obvious health risk. Everyone appears happy and content however they are actually all teary-eyed, with tears of hand sanitiser” said Chloe Wise about her contribution to The Fine Art Quarantine Colouring Book.
In this project, Brooke Wise invites artists and their audiences to collaborate together in a way that is simultaneously creative, playful, and therapeutic. “I was doing a lot of anxiety-reducing activities like playing board games, card games, cooking etc. I knew I wanted to put something out that wasn't another online group show, and I had a hard time thinking of what that could look like," explained Brooke. “The second the idea of a colouring book came to me, I immediately started to research if any were being made right now with contemporary artists, and there were none to be found. So I reached out to my friend and designer Jesse Brown and he agreed to help with design. From there, I reached out to around 30 artists and [the project] began moving forward”.
For Brooke, the ideal setting for colouring is on the floor, in front of the TV, with her cat. “I always doodled in school and even though teachers would ask me to stop while they were speaking, I knew it actually helped me listen and digest the information better. I think this has a similar effect with watching TV, listening to a podcast, or anything audio related. Simply put, I like my colouring time to be paired with other activities simultaneously.”
During times when watching the news can be incredibly stress-inducing but necessary to stay informed, The Fine Art Quarantine Colouring Book might be the way to help you protect your mental health. You can download The Fine Art Quarantine Colouring Book here.