October 8, 2020 | Alyson Stanfield

Facebook Live Group Art Shows with Brooke Harker

Fun isn't a word used very often when we think of marketing or business tasks. Still, it's one of the criteria I suggest considering when you're thinking about whether to add something to your busy schedule.

When Covid hit, Brooke Harker threw her fears about doing live video out the window and created Saturday Night Live Art Shows—because she thought it would be fun. It started with just her, but quickly grew to a core of regular artists, with new ones jumping in each week.

Brooke Harker Painting
Brooke Harker painting Remembering Matera. Ink, oil, and acrylic on canvas, 48×144 inches (each panel of triptych is 48×48).

I wanted to talk with her about it because these weekly events are open to any artist who wants to show off their art or, perhaps, the art that you collect. In fact, as you'll learn, the rules are, well, … What rules? This could be a great way for you to connect, practice your video (because imperfections are encouraged), and maybe even sell some art.

Brooke and I discuss:

  • What happens during SNL Art Shows and how you can participate. They're 100% free!
  • How participating artists have benefited from being part of SNL Art Shows.
  • The 3 questions Brooke uses to prepare for live video.

See detailed show notes below.


Music by Wildermiss.


    • “I'm an historian of the ordinary.” 3:00
    • Brooke's first call for artists went out on Friday, March 27, 2020. 5:00
    • What happens on a Saturday Night Live Art Show, and the variety of approaches participating artists have taken.. 6:00
    • Daniela Matchael, who Brooke met at an Art Biz Success event, approaches it like The Daniela Show. 9:15
    • Some participants record their videos ahead of time. 11:00
    • Tom Mosser always has his Golden Retriever, Lucas, in the videos and takes a variety of approaches, including studio tours. 12:30
    • This is about showing up, not about being perfect on video. Two weeks prior to the start of Saturday Night Live Art Shows, Brooke had never before done a livestream. 13:15

      Painting of Rome by Brooke Harker
      ©Brooke Harker, Roman Holiday. Ink, oil, and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 inches.
    • Brooke remembers this wisdom from one of her favorite yoga teachers: When you want to do something, the desire has to exceed the fear.  14:45
    • How Brooke has survived as an artist by connecting with people. 15:30
    • “We have the power as artists.” 17:30
    • The artists who helped Brooke organize this project are Sheryl Benjy, Nichole McDaniel, and Joan Marie. Each has an important role to play. 19:00
    • Brooke describes the collaborative videos they created to promote the events and how they are going easy on themselves and not over-committing since they're all volunteers. 20:00
    • This isn't just for professional artists. The youngest participant has been 4 1/2 years old. 33:30
    • Other participants that Brooke has met through my programs include Joan Marie (previously mentioned), Suzanne Gibbs, and Lynn Goldstein. 34:30
    • The 3 questions Brooke asks herself to prepare for live video. 38:00
    • The artists use the Marco Polo app to communicate with one another. 40:30
    • The visibility of participating has definitely gone up. 43:30
    • Brooke is seeking artists from every single state in the U.S. and as many countries as possible. 45:00
    • You're never going to get better at video until you start doing it and screwing up. 49:00

    About My Guest

    Photo of Brooke Harker
    Photo of Brooke Harker by LOTTA Photography.

    Brooke Harker is a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her lively paintings of cities and coastal scenes are characterized by energetic brushstrokes in ink and thick oil paint applied with palette knives. These vibrant depictions of daily life capture a sense of motion and highlight moments of synchronicity.

    Harker calls herself a historian of the ordinary. Her paintings are a collaboration with all of the people who’ve contributed to a place over time: architects, engineers, city workers who’ve placed street signs and pedestrians whose colorful fashion landed in view at the perfect moment. All of their individual actions brought together one moment, fated to be captured on canvas. Follow Brooke on Instagram: @brookeharker.

    Watch videos from the Saturday Night Live Art Shows and find out how you can participate. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.

    Music by Wildermiss.

10 comments add a comment
  • This is such a fabulous initiative and it’s been an inspiration to see so many artists taking the plunge and getting into video. Brooke, Joan Marie, Sheryl and Nichole are to be congratulated for teaming up and creating such a creative collaborative project. They are all a delight to watch and I’ve definately seen my confidence in front of the camera improve since my early efforts.

    • It’s been great having you in the project Cathy! I think you are our lead UK correspondent…okay well technically the only UK artist–however your weekly commitment has been one of the most committed and then when I listened to the interview–I went–OH NO–Cathy has been one of the main weekly people and I didn’t list her–I’m so glad it has helped…and glad this resonated with you:)

    • Alyson Stanfield

      I’m so happy you’ve been participating in this, Cathy. And, Brooke, give yourself a break. There were far too many artists to mention. Besides, Cathy has a podcast episode all to herself. 💛

    • I’m with Alyson, Brooke, give yourself a break. You had a lot to cover and, as Alyson said, I’ve a podcast all of my own, thanks to Alyson. It’s been a massive growth curve for all of us, and we’re still learning.

  • Awesome idea and love the collaboration between the artists. Yes, we do just have to get over that fear factor.
    Thanks so much Alyson & Brooke.

  • Such an interesting newsletter Alyson and I love that you wrote about various types of collaboration!

    Collaboration seems such an important idea right now while we’re so cut off from others. Nature too has become such an important element in our lives.

    I’m teaching online zoom workshops called Workshops in Wild Places Stays Home, a take off on my Workshops in Wild Places travel workshops. The Stays Home focus is on collaborating with nature where you live and from that inspiration, creating abstract paintings.

    In my zoom workshops, I give nature connection exercises to people who sign on for this workshop from various places in the world. For one of those sessions, I’ve asked creative writing teachers whose focus is on nature to present an exercise from their own writing workshops to my group of visual artists. I love seeing the world through their eyes and approaching nature in a different way. I’ve collaborated with Linda Lappin, an author from Rome who wrote a book called The Soul of Place. As well, I’m currently collaborating with Paul Kingsnorth, an author, environmentalist and creative writing instructor living in Ireland. Next spring, I’ll work with Inga Simpson, an author from Australia for my Australian zoom workshop. I find it so inspiring to collaborate with other creatives.

  • Wow. What a powerhouse of enthusiasm and energy. Really enjoyed listening to you Brooke and Alyson. Talk about a can-do attitude. Really wonderful.

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