Discover your Art Crush (a fun 'at home' activity for tweens, teens & grown ups)

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Art Crush is a FREE and fun app - kind of like Tinder for art. Swipe right and left depending on if you love or loathe the artwork that appears on your screen. 

Once you hit 15 likes, your art personality will be revealed. Will you be a truth seeker like most of my family, boundary breaker like me or something else? Give it a go and let me know your results. It's a fun way to fill in a bit of time at home and completely free to enjoy. 

Discover your Art Crush (a fun 'at home' activity for tweens, teens & grown ups)

I am somebody who loves nothing more than walking around a gallery and I have taken my children to many exhibitions over the years. We usually play a little game where we all pick our favourite and least favourite piece from an exhibition and share why we have chosen that piece. 

This year, our gallery visits have definitely declined and new exhibitions are few and far between right now. Although we still do like to get out and about where it is safe to do so, we are also staying at home now more than ever before and anything that can keep us entertained / educated / provoke conversation is something that I am super interested in learning more about. 

So when I heard about Art Crush, a FREE app which virtually brings some of the country's greatest art treasures into your home and has been developed right here in the North East with Bloom Digital, Sunderland Culture and Arts Council Collection, I was intrigued to give it a go. 

Art Crush has been designed for tweens, teens and grown ups. I would probably recommend for ages 9+. I will say that despite myself loving art and trying to encourage the kids into talking about and enjoying art  from a young age, Jack just isn't into art of any kind right now. He is very pragmatic and will just say it's all boring, so he sat this one out. I really hope his outlook approaches as he gets a little older. 

So it is myself, Harry, Heidi and Steve who gave Art Crush a go. 

Where to download Art Crush 

Art Crush is free to download from both the Apple Store here or Google Play Store here (or simply search 'Art Crush'). 

How to use Art Crush 

Something I love about Art Crush and that is really refreshing is that you do not need to create a login or sign in anywhere. I actually cannot remember the last time this happened. As soon as you download the app, you are good to dive right in. You will need a phone / tablet and WiFi / data. 

Art Crush was tested out by Harry (14), Heidi (11) and both myself and Steve. We downloaded the app onto our phones and it was really easy to get to grips with and for us to swipe right or left depending on our preference. The app features 1000 (from a total of 8000) pieces from the Art Council Collection and they are shown in a random selection.

It was really interesting for me to see how first impressions count and sometimes I caught myself swiping within what felt like a millisecond of the artwork appearing on my screen. I don't think I have ever viewed art like this - usually I linger and take it all in. It was certainly a different experience, kind of like speed dating. 

Once you have 'liked' 15 pieces of art, the app will reveal your art personality and you can learn more about your preferences. Harry, Heidi and Steve were all 'Truth Seekers'. Steve tried retaking the challenge three times and despite there being different pieces of art each time, the result was always the same. Very clever! 

I was a Boundary Breaker which means I like thinking outside of the box and am up for challenges (this is definitely me). The app also shared that finding out the process or story behind a piece of art will bring new enjoyment to me and this is also correct, I am always reading the little brochures you get at galleries and trying to find out more. 

Once you have taken the Art Crush challenge, your favourite pieces are saved in the app and you can click on them to read more. Obviously, as I am a Boundary Breaker, this really appeals to me and I enjoyed learning more about the pieces which had made the cut. 

All four of us really enjoyed trying out Art Crush. We tried the app out during a rainy October day at home. We completed our swiping alone (and were all pretty much engrossed) and then shared our personality types and favourite pieces afterwards together, just as if we were in an actual gallery.

Art Crush is perfect to enjoy alone or as a group, it is nice and versatile like that. You can share your art personality online straight from the app too and I have already spotted a couple of people doing this online. 

Do more with Art Crush 

My Art Crush personality type mentions that the type of art I like can change depending on my mood and you can take the challenge as many times as you like to see if this is the case. I think it will be interesting to see how different scenarios affect the types of art I pick. 

As well as discovering your art personality, the app allows you to browse collections depending on your mood or preferred genre. You can pick a favourite artist, choose a decade, pick a medium or theme. So far my favourite genres to browse have been art created in the 80s (the decade seemed to love abstract), photographs (photography exhibitions are my favourite) and the theme of community which is really interesting to browse through all in one place. 

I love that I have my own personally curated art gallery in my pocket now with all of my favourites in one place and where I can check back at any time I need my art fix or even add to my collection. 

Like many, I am so guilty of mindlessly scrolling Instagram or Twitter when I have a spare few minutes, in fact I did it this morning at the hairdressers as I was waiting for Heidi to have her haircut.

Browsing the collections on Art Crush feels like a much better use of my time and will provide much more enrichment. I have kept the app on my phone and although I know the mindless scrolling of social media won't come to an end for me, Art Crush will provide an alternative for those times I feel like I need to look at something a little more meaningful. 

Beyond Art Crush 

A number of the works featured in the app have previously been exhibited or will be coming to Sunderland in the near future as part of the Art Council Collection's National Partners Programme. There is also scope to add further art and features in the future. I hope the app inspires some of us to discover new art and maybe then go on to appreciate some of the pieces in real life if we can. 

Next time you are looking for something to do at home / while you wait for an appointment, instead of scrolling social media, why not download Art Crush and discover your art personality instead? 

Let me know how you get on. 

Art Crush is supported through public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Art Crush is a GX project which is led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Innovation Super Network and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 



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