York artist and gallery owner Greg McGee is helping relieve the pressure of lockdown on families with weekly video exercises celebrating art and creativity.
What was initially intended as softly launched new enterprise has taken on a life of its own, with a huge groundswell of support bolstered by a video trailer which garnered over 8,000 views in its first weekend and interest from BBC Look North.
As a result, ‘Art Savvy’ was born and the work-rate is not showing any sign of letting up.
“I’m the frontman, I suppose”, says Greg, “But it’s a double act.
“Videographer Nico Jones and I have been batting the idea around for a while.
“And though the spike in interest has meant I have to work a little harder to conceive new ideas for creative activities for all the family, and then record them at home with my own kids, it’s Nico who gathers the footage and streamlines it into what are by any standard top quality videos.
“Sharing the workload has meant that we can step up to the new requirements of leading creative sessions in lockdown.”
The commitment to releasing weekly videos was a consequence of Art Savvy’s recent appearance on BBC Look North. Greg guided Presenter Amy Garcia through creating a collage based on the theme of Hope using non-art materials found at home (or in the BBC Zoom Room in this case).
The resulting art was, says Nico, imaginative and fun: “Those are the two qualities that we’ve built the Art Savvy journey around.
“We do have big plans for in-depth, slick art courses in the future, but right now it’s amazing to see the response from the families who are looking forward to each week’s exercise.
“Amy was incredibly supportive and we are in the happy position of not just benefiting from ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on social media, but from high profile coverage from regional news. We couldn’t have hoped for a better start.”