The Ohio Craft Museum is using technology to keep residents engaged with craft art during its temporary closure for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus, is offering two series on its Instagram account, instagram.com/ohiodesignercraftsmen.

Every Tuesday, the museum presents an Instagram Takeover by an Ohio Designer Craftsmen member artist.

On Fridays, it holds #craftingfunfriday, or Crafting Fun Friday, with art teacher and artist Mackenzie Johnston-Green.

The Tuesday program features a different artist each week.

"(Participating artists) take over our account for a day and offer a look at the work they are doing and the process they use to create their art," said Kim Nagorski, communications/functional ceramics coordinator for Ohio Designer Craftsmen. "It's an opportunity for our artists, while the museum is closed, to show that they are still out there working and creating great pieces of art.

"We do a lot of outreach and educational programs online when we're operating normally. Once we closed the museum for the time being (March 15), we started working on generating some ideas to expand our presence on our Instagram and Facebook pages."

The initial Instagram Takeover on March 31 featured illustrator Amy Ferguson from Michigan. Columbus artist Evangelia Philippidis showcased her work April 7 and ceramics artist Royce Hilderbrand of Reynoldsburg was scheduled for April 14.

Duct-tape artist John Catania of Delaware will lead the Tuesday, April 21, session.

Catania, who also creates paintings using a palette knife and acrylic paint, said he was drawn to making artwork using duct tape because of its graphic elements.

"I work as a graphic artist for an ad agency, and when I started trying out working on duct tape art, it just appealed to me right away," he said. "Most people think of it as a three-dimensional art form, but you're actually working 2D."

Catania usually uses plexiglass as his canvas.

"I usually work using a photograph I've taken or maybe an image I've found on the internet that I'll print out," he said.

Catania attaches the image he is working on behind the plexiglass and overlays multicolored strips of duct tape onto the design.

"The duct tape is the paint I'm using to fill in the color," Catania said.

He cuts the strips into the shapes and sizes he needs to depict the elements of what he's creating, whether it is a person, a ripple or wave in a body of water or a pattern on a scarf.

"It can be really intricate -- cutting the tape into sometimes very small pieces," Catania said.

One of the biggest challenges of creating duct-tape art is the stickiness of the tape, he said.

"Nothing sticks to duct tape as good as duct tape," Catania said. "It takes a lot of patience, a lot of cutting and a lot of time gripping a (hobby) knife. I always joke that I should have been a surgeon -- I would have made a lot more money."

For the last phase of the process, Catania places black strips of duct tape over his artwork and then removes the strips.

That helps make the colors "pop out" and gives them a more graphic look, he said.

More information about Catania and his artwork may be found at johnvcatania.com.

Johnston-Green posted her first Crafting Fun Friday video April 3.

"Each week I'll feature a different craft activity or games you can do at home using materials you'll typically have at home," she said. "The first one was about making a fire-breathing dragon using a toilet-paper roll."

On April 10, Johnston-Green demonstrated how to use paper to make caterpillars.

"You can do caterpillar races and just have a simple and creative way to make your own fun," she said. "The activities are designed for young children, kindergarten through maybe sixth grade, but any activity can be made more complex and involved for teens and adults."

Johnston-Green is a high school art teacher with Elgin Local Schools in Marion. For the past three years, she has taught summer camps and children's classes at the craft museum.

It's important for children to have fun and varied activities that can engage their creativity as they stay at home, she said.

It's also important for their parents, Johnston-Green said.

"I'm not a parent, but I can only imagine how difficult it can be to find something to keep your children entertained and occupied while mom or dad are having to concentrate on getting work done at home," she said. "We'll be doing Crafting Fun Friday from now on until things start getting back to normal."

Along with the Instagram activities, the museum is posting interviews with its Best of 2020 exhibition artists on the Ohio Craft Museum and Ohio Designer Craftsmen Facebook pages, Nagorski said.

The annual exhibition usually is held in spring and early summer, but it is on hold until the museum can reopen, she said.

Updates will be posted at ohiocraft.org and on the Facebook pages, she said.

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