Leading British Artists Design Face Masks to Support Art in the U.K. During COVID-19

Masks by David Shrigley, Linder, Eddie Peake, and Yinka Shonibare will raise money for artists and museums.

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Four of the UK’s leading contemporary artists – David Shrigley, Linder, Eddie Peake, and Yinka Shonibare – have designed a series of limited-edition printed face masks to raise money for British artists and museums that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, launched by The Contemporary Art Society, aims to provide financial support to artists and local museums who have been the most affected by the ongoing mandatory lockdowns; under current government restrictions, British museums are in a state of forced closure until at least July 4. The CAS Rapid Response Fund, which sales of the masks will support, aims to ensure that museums are provided with the resources to make new acquisitions from artists when they reopen.

Linder, a post-punk artist best known for her provocative photomontages, has created a striking lip collage for her design. Shrigley, beloved for his playful and humorous drawings, has finished his mask in a hand-drawn wave print. Peake’s mask features a graphic impression of faces in profile, while the British-Nigerian artist Shonibare has used Dutch wax-printed florals, a recurrent motif in his works.

Each of the masks can be bought by making a donation of £35 (approx. $42 USD) on the Contemporary Art Society’s Crowdfunder page. Alternatively, those making a donation of £120 (approx. $147 USD) will receive all four masks sent together as a pack.

The arts have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Venice Biennale forced to postpone until 2022, and MoMA announcing significant budget cuts.

 

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The Contemporary Art Society has created a new fund, in partnership with Frieze London, as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic to support both artists and museums across the UK. Called the CAS Rapid Response Fund, museums which are members of @contemporaryartsociety are invited to apply to buy art and craft that will support their civic role when they reopen after the lockdown is lifted. The fund is designed to support as many different artists and local museums as possible, based on the understanding that our museums will play a vital role in our communities as we exit the crisis. Money raised will be spent purchasing artworks by British-based artists, providing financial support to artists, technicians and art handlers, many of whom work on a freelance basis and have seen their income streams decimated over recent weeks, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to government restrictions, museums across the UK are currently closed until July 4 at the earliest. The CAS Rapid Response Fund will ensure that when museums reopen, they are able to reach out to their communities through new acquisitions, playing a vital role in civic healing and mental wellbeing. Open to buy work from both fine art and craft practitioners, applications to the fund will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with museums making a case for how a specific artwork will support their engagement with local communities when they reopen. The fund has already raised £100,000 through the generosity of CAS Patrons, which will support around 7-10 acquisitions. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to increase the fund by a further £20,000, allowing art lovers to support contemporary artists and local museums across the UK. This is the first time in its 110-year history that CAS have raised money through crowdfunding. People who donate £35 will receive a limited-edition facemask designed by top artists – David Shrigley, Eddie Peake, Linder and Yinka Shonibare. £120 will buy a pack of all four. For those wishing to pledge further financial support, £2,500 will allow donors to become an honorary Patron of the Contemporary Art Society for a year. The crowdfunding campaign will only be live until 10th June.

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