Critic's Choice: An Lanntair, Sketchbook Project

Stornoway's An Lanntair has, along with all the country's other indoor arts venues, been closed for the last few months, but next week will enter the first phase of reopening, welcoming visitors to the ground floor where their new exhibition, the An Lanntair Sketchbook Project, will be on display, subject to all the usual bounds of hand sanitizing, masks and distancing – small price to pay to wander inside again, although you'll have to wait another month or so for the cafe and the cinema.

Created entirely during lockdown, the inspired Sketchbook Project has been created with 100 of the island's residents, all of whom were sent a sketchbook by the gallery, with daily email prompts for drawing. Some posted their responses online as the lockdown went on, sharing their ideas and drawings. Others waited until the endpoint, all posting back their sketchbooks for this exhibition, which will also display many of the online offerings alongside the physical books themselves.

If some had an artistic background, many did not, but were perhaps simply interested in drawing, each day spending time considering the theme for the day and putting down their response on paper, experiencing the joys of “success”, even if a response didn't quite live up to the ideas behind it. Most enjoyed the challenge, the frustrations, the inspiration, the absorption in something that took them out of the different challenges of lockdown. As such these fascinating sketchbooks are a diverse and joyful snapshot of an island at a very unique time.

Sketchbook Project Exhibition, An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, 01851 708480 Opens Aug 17, Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm

Don't miss

During the lockdown, the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney put out a call on their website for children, up to 18 years old, to send in their artwork. Submissions came in, not just from around Orkney, but Scotland and as far away as Australia, a true flowering of art in the lockdown, an outlet and a joy for many children (and their parents) worldwide. From a Koi carp on a stone to felt puppets and a "famous elephant", this virtual exhibition is a happy scroll through the minds and talents of the young people involved.

Virtual Children's Exhibition, Pier Arts Centre, Victoria Street, Stromness, Orkney Online only, until 31 Aug