Posts Tagged ‘art’

Community Art

January 19, 2009


Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the U.S.  Yesterday I saw this really cool painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. hanging in the lobby of a school.   I tried to find a picture of the painting on the internet, but the best I could find was the photograph the painting was based on (above).

So the cool thing about the painting is that it was a community art project, involving the students, the faculty, and the neighbors surrounding the school.  For a few days in the lobby of the school, there was a lead artist present, along with multiple shades of gray paint laid out in trays (more or less corresponding to the different shades in the original photograph).  Throughout the day, people would come, place their hands palm-side down in one of the paint-filled trays, and the lead artist would show them where to place their handprints.  In the end, there was this really nice painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. made from the handprints of the community.  Fitting, isn’t it?  A community coming together to paint a portrait of a man who spent his life bringing communities together?

Have any of you seen any kind of artwork similar to this?  Something that was made by a community, with its active participation?

100% All Natural GBD

January 16, 2009

Gooooooood morning GBD!

First, can I say that you guys are awesome?  I mean really.  You guys are awesome.  Y’all have sent me so much stuff, it’s amazing!  So today, I thought it would be cool to have all of the posts be content submitted by you gals.  🙂

First up is a little ditty written and photographed by our very own Auntie Kailin.  Thanks Kailin!

(There will be 4 more posts after this one, spaced a couple hours apart.)


Sometimes, it is the youngest of us who will lead the way.  This is a true example of a woman (albeit a very young woman) trying to make a difference in the world.  Yes, this is Auntie Kailin’s 2-year-old daughter London Gow, but that’s besides the point.  London is already a young spokesperson for world peace and harmony.  Her favorite saying is “Peace, Love, Hope.”  If you are on Facebook, check out her Actor Fan Page for her credentials.  Model since 5 months old, Actor in commercial, television special, and the lead in an upcoming preschool DVD series, artist, and budding photographer.

This is her artwork:


The art is titled (in London’s own words) – “People are Legos.  We Fit Together to Make it Work.”


Concrete Illusions

January 4, 2009

Have any of you seen Julian Beever’s work?  He’s an artist who is probably best known for his optical illusion pavement drawings, like the ones below.

White Water Rafting by Julian Beever

Batman and Robin by Julian Beever

Meeting Madame Butterfly by Julian Beever

Worldcard by Julian Beever

I don’t know how he does it because it’s hard enough drawing something big on pavement.  But Beever not only draws these big works on pavement, he has to draw them warped so that they have that optical illusion effect.  For example, this is how one of his drawings, called Make Poverty History, looks head-on:

But this is how that same drawing looks from the side:

People never cease to amaze me.

You can see more of Julian Beever’s pavement drawings here.  He also has examples of his wall murals and fine art paintings on his site.

Small World. Like, REALLY small.

December 28, 2008

People had made me feel small so I wanted to show them how significant small could be.
– Willard Wigan

The Wizard of Oz (Click to enlarge. Can you see Toto by Dorothy’s feet?)

The Statue of Liberty (Click to enlarge.)

The above are photos of micro sculptures created by Willard Wigan.  You might be wondering what the silver, metallic looking thing is that the sculptures are balanced on.  That would be the eye of a needle.  Wigan has sculpted these figures to fit inside (or on) the eye of a needle.  The EYE of a NEEDLE people!  I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to thread a needle, but I have, and it ain’t exactly as easy as throwing a baseball through a hula hoop.  These sculptures are so small, you need a microscope to view them.  They’re so small that Wigan uses a SINGLE hair plucked off a FLY to paint his sculptures.  They’re so small, that he works IN BETWEEN HEARTBEATS because the pulse from his fingers might mess up his work.  Once, while putting the finishing touches on an Alice in Wonderland piece, the sculpture disappeared when he was working on it.  He thinks he accidentally inhaled it.  I actually cracked up when I heard him say that, but stopped when I realized he wasn’t joking.

The history behind Wigan’s artwork is pretty inspiring.  As a boy, he had undiagnosed dyslexia, so he didn’t do well in school and was made fun of because of it.  So to get away from it all, he would go to the park and watch the ants.  Then he started making tiny wooden houses for the ants.  Then he started making furniture for those houses, and then clothes for the ants, and so on and so forth…he kept challenging himself to make smaller and more difficult things.  Now, his artwork is worth millions of dollars and elicits awe and wonder from those who see his work.

You can read an article about Wigan here, or see more photos of Wigan’s work here and here.  You can see a video interview with Wigan below (watch the video…at the end you’ll see a sculpture of Charlie Chaplin balanced on the TIP of an EYELASH).  Wigan’s official website is here.


December 20, 2008

(View from my window this morning. That red, reliable friend of mine is Carmen.)

Do you know what happened yesterday?  It was the first snowstorm of the season for New York!  Whoohoo!  And by New York, I mean the NYC Metro area.  Not places like Buffalo, NY, which is way up north, bordering Canada.  That place gets 20 feet of snow in, like, August.

A lot of New Yorkers don’t like the snow.  They don’t like the winter actually.  I understand.  It’s cold, and wet, and cold.  And the snow gets dirty quickly in NYC, so it doesn’t stay pretty for that long.  But whatever!  I still like winter and snow very much.  The two best things about snow are snowmen (snowpeople?) and sledding!  Whoohoo!  I used to go skiing all the time with my family, but quite frankly, it takes too much effort to go skiing.  All that equipment.  Those awful stiff boots.  The driving there and back, the trekking back and forth.  Ugh.  Then snowboarding became really popular, but I never got into that because by then I’d had my fill of skiing.  You know what my favorite part about skiing was?  Besides drinking hot chocolate in the cafeteria?  Taking one of the plastic trays from the cafeteria to go sledding!  Whoohoo!

I also like building snowmen.  I did build a snowwoman once.  The snowwoman is actually the only one that kind of had a personality.  As the snow melted, her upper body started moving forward, so each day, it looked like she was bowing lower and lower to us…to show us deeper and deeper respect.  Very Asian of her.  Appropriate since the people who built her are Asian.  😉

Speaking of Asians and building things out of snow, you know who else takes snow seriously?  The Japanese.  Every year they have the Sapporo Snow Festival.  Just to give you an idea of how seriously they take their snow…look at what they built in 2004:

Snow sculpture of the Taj Mahal. (photos: Douglas S. Mann)

Look what they built last year:

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Relics of Egypt

Inuyama Castle

And look at the all the snowpeople they made!

Alrighty.  That’s enough snow stuff from me today.  If you’d like to see more pics of the Sapporo Snow Festival, go here.  There are some other cool snow sculptures from various competitions here and here.

Yeah snow!