The Life-Changing Magic of Mask Making and Helping During a PPE Shortage

ArtCube Market’s Meet Your Maker Spotlight: Beth Svenningsen

There was a lot of uncertainty when the pandemic started. Beth felt restless and wanted to help.

Beth joined the resilient ArtCube Army at the start of this year! (Can we all just agree “this year” started in March with the Pandemic? I don’t remember January or February anymore.)

ArtCube Army was a group of volunteers creating an ad HOC PPE supply chain during the PPE shortage at the start of the Pandemic. When Cat Navarro made the post to have people make shields, Beth jumped at the chance to help.

With ArtCube Army, we utilized the skills from the industry — from craftsmanship to coordinating. First, it started off as people picking up supplies to make material kits for 20 masks and then the makers would come and finish 20 by Sunday and then someone else would pick them up and bring them to where they were needed.

“I’ve been a part of ArtCube the last 5–6 years and to finally see Eva in person — and she feels like a crazy celebrity, and to see her on the ground and really helping the community — that was inspiring for me.”

We streamed lined the pickup system into different parts of Brooklyn where each person had a time slot and Beth described it as a hit and run, “my time is 4:15 and I would run outside and grab it and go.” That was for a couple of months and it ended in May and “It felt really good to be a part of,” Beth shared.

From making shields “I had this energy, ‘what else can I do,’ and Joann’s was having a sale.” Beth picked up a sewing machine and she said it gave her a “larger purpose, something to do every day when it was uncertain.” Her grandmother originally taught her how to sew, starting off with pillows and she hadn’t had a chance to pick it up until now with masks.

She started off making masks for her family and friends, taking care of those around her and now she’s expanded to ArtCube Market to provide masks for all. We hide half of our faces, but she wants to fill them with a burst of color.

At the beginning of COVID, we grabbed any mask we could get our hands on, but it’s a part of our daily lives. We should be more engaged with the way we’re protecting ourselves and others, so let’s not be so passive in what’s filling our days — and faces! In the mindset of Marie Kondo, if it doesn’t bring you joy get rid of it (or wash and donate it) and get a mask that brings a smile to your face under your mask (smeyes are still a thing).

Beth Svenningsen

Website | ArtCube Market

Beth is a designer and maker based in Brooklyn, NY. She is passionate about visual storytelling and the collaborative process. Her work focuses on artistic detail and striking imagery to entice, transport, and communicate with an audience. She recently finished her certificate at the Shillington School of Design NYC, and holds a degree in Studio Art from Skidmore College. When she’s not glued to the Adobe Suite, she enjoys getting crafty, trying new beers, and snuggling with her dog, Vincent.

Connect with amazing artists like Beth and Cat by joining ArtCube Nation, the professional-social network of the Art Deparment.

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I am the Community Manager of the Film Network for the Art Department called ArtCube Nation. We highlight our artists and how to make films sustainably.

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