With Forth Valley’s arts and cultural venues closed to the public, Artlink Central is offering a series of free virtual art experiences to give locals access to a creative fix during the lockdown.

The charity has designed an uplifting programme of live workshops and one-to-one experiences, including an innovative dial-an-artist service for those in hospital. The service will also be made available to those living at home with dementia.

Artlink Director Kevin Harrison said: “We’re beaming an artist into hospitals and homes across Forth Valley, offering any child or adult in hospital or anyone living at home with dementia the chance of having a one to one creative session via their phone, tablet or computer.  Whether they’re into music or sculpting, dancing or painting, or anything in between, we’ll match them with an artist who shares their passion and get them creating.”

The charity is also taking its Open Artspace service, aimed at supporting wellbeing, online during the crisis. Virtual sessions will be led by artist Aya Iguchi, who said: “We understand that staying at home can leave us feeling stressed, anxious and isolated, so we’re offering weekly Wednesday afternoon sessions via Zoom to provide much needed social contact and a safe and creative space to connect at this difficult time. You don’t have to be an artist to take part, just an interest in trying something creative.”

Artlink is also offering weekly bite sized creative workshops via Facebook, with easy creative ideas for children and families to do at home or in hospital with limited materials.

The Creative Bytes sessions will be run by local artist Alan Bryden, who said: “Whether you’re rooting around for short activities for children to do, or an adult searching for inspiration for a creative project, our Creative Bytes sessions will give you all you need to make something in a few minutes or spin it out into a bigger project. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of materials to make something special, so you can take part whether you are in a ward, a care home or just at home.”

The charity will also be distributing 100 free creative kits every week to Camelon and Tamfourhill residents, through its Make it Monday project.

Artist and co-ordinator of Camelon Arts, Mina Heydari Waite explained: “We’ll be launching a creative activity every Monday for Camelon and Tamfourhill residents to do together while apart. Every month we will send out 100 Make It Monday packs with all the materials you need for the month’s activities, but if you don’t manage to sign up for one you can also take part using your own materials. Send us photos of your creations or use #camelonmakeitmondays – at the end of the week we’ll share and showcase what everyone has made, learned, performed or crafted. We’re targeting the activities at families and children under 12, but all residents are welcome to join in!”

To request a Make it Monday kit email: camelonarts@artlinkcentral.org

For further information on all of Artlink Central’s lockdown activities see: www.facebook.com/artlinkcentral