Mt. Clemens' Anton Art Center adapts programming to the COVID-19 era

The Anton Art Center's mission is to promote and celebrate the arts from its home in downtown Mt. Clemens. How, then, will they do so as "non-essential" businesses and organizations are shut down to help combat the spread of the coronavirus?

By taking the art to the people.

The Anton Art Center has announced several ways in which it’s doing so. Following a revision of its April SatARTday program, which saw the event transform into a Neighborhood Art Walk, several more opportunities to enjoy the arts in April remain.

The art center is organizing an online art exhibit. Inspired by social distancing, the theme for the exhibit is, "Things I’m looking forward to." The exhibit is open to all ages and all media types and free to enter. Works selected will be shown on the organization’s website as well as Facebook. The deadline for entries is Thursday, April 30.

Current art exhibits, the Green Art Show, Michigan Annual XLVII, and the Macomb County Secondary Student Show, are also available online.

Anton has also further embraced social media, producing informative videos and instructional how-to demonstrations of different types of art, including recipes for homemade chalk, tips for crochet, and more.

"We know that participating in creative pursuits can provide positive mental health benefits. I believe the same can be said of observing creative pursuits--watching a performance or looking at artwork," says Phil Gilchrist, executive director for the Anton Art Center.

"Now, perhaps more than ever, a lot of folks are finding comfort and community through the arts, and it is for these reasons that it is important for us to continue our work right now. Helping to provide a platform for community connection is one of the most important things we can do."

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.