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A&E >  Art

Water cooler: Channel your inner artist with must-see YouTube channels

Artist Stan Prokopenko draws a self portrait for a tutorial on his YouTube channel “Proko” last year. ( / Screenshot)
Artist Stan Prokopenko draws a self portrait for a tutorial on his YouTube channel “Proko” last year. ( / Screenshot)
From staff reports

Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk and writer, once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” So whether quarantine has you in the position of wanting to find yourself or lose yourself, or both, here are six YouTube channels to learn more about the arts and get in touch with something other than the interior of your home.

CrashCourse: If you don’t know where to start, this is the place. CrashCourse has a playlist of videos on almost any subject, including the many areas of the arts. Learn about literature, film, theater, mythology and more. The cute animation, quick information and quirky host humor are a winning combo.

MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art, located in Midtown Manhattan, was conceived over a lunch date between three women, Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. They noted New York City lacked a place to exclusively exhibit contemporary art. A year later, MoMA opened and it is available to you instantly online. Watch videos about art conservation, current exhibitions, stories and perspectives from other artists, film, and the museum’s permanent collection.

Proko: Want something more hands-on? Grab a pencil, your kid’s crayons or whatever you have around the house and get to drawing. Proko is a wealth of resourceful tutorials, including information on drawing anatomy, facial features, hands, caricature, digital drawing and painting, and even techniques for holding a pencil (there’s more to it than you think).

American Theatre Wing: The American Theatre Wing got its start as a charitable organization formed by seven suffragists, all being playwrights, directors and actors themselves. Originally named Stage Women’s War Relief, it was opened on the eve of America’s entry into World War I and supported the war efforts by collecting clothing and food, sewing uniforms, presenting benefit performances and more, raising nearly $7 million. Now join them in waging war against COVID-19 by learning about theater from your own home. Their videos include everything from information on the many jobs of the theater, songwriting challenges, clips of performances, conversations on life-changing plays and more.

Mike Browne: YouTube is saturated with tutorials on video and photography. It makes sense – images are more prominent in our lives than ever. Mike Browne, an English photographer working since 1993, is one of the most informative and friendly places to start if you’re looking to hone your photography skills. His videos range from the basics to more advanced techniques, as well as some of his personal travel and photography journeys. Since you likely have a camera on your phone, you’re ready to get started.

Smarthistory: Enjoy one of the most expansive YouTube channels on the subject of art history and world culture. Pick from nearly any period, location or subject in the art world to learn more about its influence, evolution and significance. Each video features thoughtful and relaxing conversation on how art has interacted with the human experience through our documented history, giving viewers the opportunity to understand art in context.

Social circle

Brain train

Test your knowledge with today’s trivia question.

What artist was hit in the face with a mallet by a rival, disfiguring him for life?





Wednesday’s answer: Red and blue

Virtual visits

Bring the fine arts to your home, from all over the globe.

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles: Established in 1974, this museum showcases a wealth of European paintings, sculpture, drawings, illuminated arts and photography from its very beginnings.

Vatican Museums, Rome: Founded by Pope Julius II in 1506, this musuem housed in the Vatican City contains nearly 70,000 works, 20,000 of which are on display to the public.

British Museum, London: Featuring a permanent collection of nearly 8 million works, this museum is one of the most comprehensive keepers of human history, although it is controversial for having acquired much of its collection during the era of the British Empire.

The Louvre, Paris (pictured below): Both a historic monument and the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre was established as a museum in 1793 and was establishedoriginally housed in the castle of the same name, during the rule of Philip II.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam: Dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries, this museum was founded in 1973 and recently launched the immersive exhibition called the “Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience.”

The National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City: A collection of significant artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian era heritage, this museum was founded in 1964 and contains the famous Stone of the Sun, also known as the Aztec calendar stone.

Page turners

Short stories you can find online for free

“Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl: An exploration in dark comedy, supposedly suggested by Dahl’s friend and author of the James Bond series, Ian Fleming.

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson: First published in the New Yorker in 1948, this story of an annual rite performed in a fictional American small town, garnered much negative response and hate mail but has now found its place as one of the most famous short stories in American literature.

“Sticks” by George Saunders: Masterful flash fiction of contemporary American literature. Originally published in Harper’s Magazine in 1995 and now available in the short story collection, “Tenth of December.”

“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury: Most well known for his novel, “Fahrenheit 451,” Bradbury was a major proponent of science and speculative fiction in American literature. A spooky tale for being stuck in your home surrounded by technology…

“How to Become a Writer” by Lorrie Moore: A candid look at the inner struggles of an artist told through the unusual second person point of view. Moore is known for her insightful and humorous short stories. This one can be found in her debut collection, “Self-Help” published in 1985.

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