PART 2: STUDENT ART PASS #AllMuseumsMatter

I had this idea in Year 1, when we had to create a business idea for our assignment for Business Enterprise module.

To give you a bit of a backstory, I came up with the idea to create and develop a mental health app and my colleagues liked it. We called it EMBRACE, available for both Android and iPhone, aiming to help those who have a history of mental health and those who are struggling; at the beginning we decided to focus on aiding students through students as in making it available to university students and collaborate with Psychology, Counselling and Mental Health students who could volunteer in chatting with users.

Ready Made/PEXELS

These users could be anonymous or choose to show who they are, whether through pictures of themselves or via video. The app, we decided, features a forum, for deeper conversations to flow and connections between users to be established – and for users to also answer each other’s questions for a more personal feel. That is also a place where volunteers or professionals can take requests, answer questions, share advice and so on.

We didn’t think about featuring other therapies, like therapy through art at the time, but it makes sense today. A partnership with Artfund would benefit the charity and all the users on the platform: our users get the color therapy, we get the visibility for the app to thrive, same for the charity. The Student Art Pass is £5 but its benefits goes beyond the price. Ads of it on the app would further help the charity.

Think of all the inspiration you’ll get from seeing ancient artefacts, immersing in Virtual Reality, to artwork maybe you didn’t know anything about before so don’t be bored, be artful. All these experiences are waiting for all of us. I can’t wait to own one just so I can brag to my friends at every chance I get.

© Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2019

The name of the app didn’t make sense last year, Patrick, my colleague worrying it could be interpreted in a sexual way, but I see it now as a Digital Embrace. A digital embrace which can be extended to all who struggle with their mental health, not just students.

Sure, a Harry Potter coloring book is awesome, I know because I own one, but seeing artwork in person is on another level. Half of UK students, about 51% ‚’’feel anxious some of the time and two fifths feel high level of anxiety on any given day’’, says my ARTFUND brief. It’s becase you can go somewhere else with art. Even with a mask on, you could not hide that happiness experiencing Virtual Reality where you didn’t expect to, in a museum!

Painting in Photoshop is great too, but art in person is on another level. The Michelangelo you have only seen in History or Art books in front of you would definitely excite you.

Denise Duplinski/PEXELS

Who could believe it’s five pounds for everything it offers? Now I am sad I can’t form a club at university and form a masked group and go on an adventure. Museums and galleries being places so peaceful, that I am sure financial worries (51%), coping with exams (42%), pressures of getting a job after you graduate (54%) will lessen through art served as medicine.

’’55% of the British public live within walking distance of a museum or gallery’’ says ARTFUND, and I think it is about the same statistic for any other nationality. We make time for other things in our lives just not for forms of Art and we should change that in 2021. It would be a pity not to benefit from such treasures.

It isn’t what you think as fun. It isn’t comparable to anything you have experienced. At the end of 2020, ARTFUND discontinued their ART GUIDE app so you can’t see the goodies there anymore but the Student Art Pass is something you don’t need to pass on. I wish I could go back to Southampton right now just to get one and see when I could visit every gallery in the city.

I can dream that sometime in 2021, I will go to Tate Modern, in London. One thing I want to educate myself in is black culture. I have never been shown a painting by a black artist and that’s a shame, and I think ARTFUND can help me achieve this goal. They’re professionals after all.

Una Laurencic/PEXELS

 Art has a new meaning now, in the new year as the museums and galleries need our support in all countries, to recover and thrive. There are 2,500 museums in the UK and whilst we can’t physically see them all, let’s start locally. If we don’t have art, what do we fight for? #AllMuseumsMatter

Check the nearest gallery or museum near you now: