Ornate Picture Frames Sprout Twisted Roots in Organic Sculptures by Darryl Cox

February 2, 2023

Kate Mothes

A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

“Winter.” All images © Darryl Cox, shared with permission

In Darryl Cox’s organic sculptures, gnarled tree roots or branches merge with the ornate grooves, patterns, and gilding of picture frames. The Bend, Oregon-based sculptor (previously) continues to explore the material possibilities of wood and its relationship to domestic interiors and the natural environment in the series Fusion Frames.

Cox begins each work by connecting pieces of reclaimed wood to the found decorative objects. “Typically—but not always—I begin the sculpting process at the point of fusion, and move in either direction from there, depending on the piece,” he tells Colossal. “Carving and modeling is a protracted process, so once I have a rudimentary joint, I work on segments at will.” To make formerly disparate pieces of wood appear as though they extend organically from one another, he spends hours meticulously carving, sanding, painting, and staining each piece. The artist retains some of the mosses or lichens that grew on the roots in the wild, further emphasizing the contrast between the finely hewn surfaces of the frames and the rough textures of the raw timber.

This summer, Cox will exhibit his sculptures at Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver in July and Oregon’s Art in the High Desert fair in August. Find more of his work on his website.


A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.


A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

Detail and overview of “Lacey”

A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.


A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

Detail of “Bond”

A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

Overview and detail of “Jasper”

A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.


A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.


A wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

Left: “Titan.” Right: “Joplin”

A detail of a wooden sculpture that fuses tree roots with an ornate picture frame.

Detail of “Jacques”





Commuters Go Wild in Matthew Grabelsky’s Uncanny Subway Paintings

February 2, 2023

Grace Ebert

A painted portrait of a horse-human figure riding the subway

“Giddy Up” (2022), oil on canvas, 14 × 16 inches. All images courtesy of Thinkspace Projects, shared with permission

Urbanites know the subway is a prime location to spot the city’s oddities, and yet, a run-in with one of Matthew Grabelsky’s characters would be a particularly wild encounter. The Los Angeles-based artist has spent the last few years rendering human-animal hybrids that nonchalantly ride public transit. Sometimes snacking on a cracker or brushing up on some reading, the characters are surreal, uncanny additions to an otherwise mundane scene.

Grabelsky’s newest oil paintings, which are currently on view as part of Riders at The Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California, are hyperrealistic and laced with witty details similar to earlier works in the series. Set on the New York City Subway and London Tube, the portraits are narrative-driven and embedded with pop culture references. The artist shares:

My goal is to create the effect of looking at a scene on the subway as if it were a diorama at a natural history museum. The images present richly detailed moments frozen in time allowing the viewer to closely inspect every element and make connections between them to read an overall story. In this world, people are transformed into part-animal to create scenes that are strange, funny, and endearing.

Curated by Thinkspace Projects, Riders is on view through March 17. You can find an extensive collection of Grabelsky’s commuters on his site and Instagram.


A painted portrait of a father and son human-monkey hybrids riding the subway

“Curious George Takes A Train” (2022), oil on canvas, 16 × 20 inches

On left, a painted portrait of a woman-crow figure on the subway, on the right, a painted portrait of a woman-parrot figure eating crackers on the subway

Left: “Crow-Magnon” (2022), oil on canvas, 28 × 38 inches. Right: “Polly Wanna Cracker” (2022), oil on canvas, 24 × 36 inches

A painted portrait of a dog-human hybrid riding the subway

“Texas Hold’em” (2022), oil on canvas, 12 × 16 inches

Left: A painted portrait of a wolf-human hybrid riding the subway. Right: A painted portrait of two panda-human hybrids riding the subway

Left: “An American Werewolf In London” (2022), oil on canvas, 24 × 32 inches. Right: “Sichuan Express” (2022), oil on canvas, 14 × 20 inches

A painted portrait of a bat-human figure riding the subway

“Gotham Local” (2022), oil on canvas, 12 × 16 inches



Photography Science

The Astonishing Biodiversity of Fungi Blooms in Max Mudie’s Macro Photographs

February 2, 2023

Kate Mothes

A macro photograph of fungi.

All images © Max Mudie, shared with permission

“I’m not the first person to say it, and I’m not going to be the last, but when you find out how integral fungi are to our existence, it makes everything else feel insignificant,” says Max Mudie, whose foraging expeditions reveal the otherworldly elegance, diversity, and minutiae of the myriad denizens of the “wood wide web.” Documenting a range of fungi and slime molds living in the U.K., the Sussex-based photographer is fascinated by the sheer breadth of colors, sizes, and textures he encounters in both rural and urban spaces. “I like to try and find as many species as possible,” he tells Colossal. “The more obscure, the better.”

Mudie’s lifelong love for mushrooms blossomed when he moved back to a rural area around five years ago, and he couldn’t resist the opportunity to forage, document, and cultivate specimens. He regularly joins a local group of amateur mycologists on walks to find and identify different types, and a recent highlight included documenting a bioluminescent species. Even with more than 140,000 types of fungi on record around the world, new discoveries are made all the time. He loves the thrill of stumbling across species that are rare or aren’t listed in textbooks, which requires some sleuthing and team effort to identify. “I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of such a vast subject,” he says. “Many species out there are yet to be described, meaning there’s lots of work to be done—making this, for me, one of the most exciting subjects to focus on.”

In many cases, the specimens Mudie encounters are so tiny that powerful macro lenses are required to capture their intricate details. He often shares behind-the-scenes footage of his finds on Instagram, where you can also follow updates about upcoming print releases and events.


A photograph of fungi.

A photograph of fungi.

A macro photograph of fungi.

A macro photograph of slime mold.

Two macro photographs of fungi.

A macro photograph of fungi.

A macro photograph of fungi.

A macro photograph of fungi with frost covering the cap.

A macro photograph of yellow slime mold.




February 2023 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists

February 1, 2023


Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at [email protected]. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.


$1,800 Innovate Grants for Art + Photo—Winter 2023 Open CallFeatured
For its Winter 2023 grant cycle, Innovate Grant is thrilled to introduce its newly increased awards of $1,800. Two awards are offered each quarter to one visual artist and one photographer, and six honorable mentions are also featured on the Innovate Grant site. Applications are open to anyone 18 and older from anywhere in the world.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. PST on March 23, 2023.

Contemporary Craft’s Artist ResidenciesFeatured
Artists at any stage of their careers working in metalsmithing, jewelry, fibers, weaving, wood, encaustics, paper and book arts, small ceramics, and small-scale woodworking are encouraged to apply for Contemporary Craft’s Artist Residencies. Distinguished by two tracts—National for artists 100 miles or more from Pittsburgh and Regional for local artists—the program grants artists studio space, staff support, and the opportunity to interact with the public while creating a body of work. National residents also receive a $1,200 monthly stipend and housing.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EST on February 15 for National Artist Residencies. Rolling for Regional Artist Residencies.


Open Calls

Artadia Awards (Los Angeles and Chicago)
The Artadia Awards provides artists with financial support and exposure. Three artists will receive unrestricted funds of $15,000, and one artist will receive the Marciano Artadia Award of $25,000.
Deadline: February 1, 2023, for Los Angeles artists. March 1, 2023, for Chicago artists.

Tidemarker Art Installation (International)
One artist will be selected to create a site-specific public art project for the environmental nonprofit Elizabeth River Project at the site of the new Ryan Resilience Lab in Norfolk, Virginia. The project will be installed in September 2023 with a total budget of $50,000.
Deadline: February 15, 2023.

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters Call for Artists (Wisconsin)
Artists and curators living in Wisconsin are encouraged to submit proposals for an exhibition at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. There is a $5 application fee.
Deadline: 5 p.m. CST on March 1, 2023.

World of WearableArt 2023 Competition (International)
Entries are open for the World of WearableArt Awards Competition, which brings the work of international designers to life each year in a large-scale theatrical spectacle held in Wellington, New Zealand. As well as a total prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD), the competition offers the chance to access exclusive residencies and internships with global creative companies.
Deadline: March 2, 2023.

The Flag Project (International)
Artists of all skill levels can submit work inspired by their most memorable food memories in the city for the fourth annual Flag Project. The exhibition will display works on the 193 flagpoles that surround Rockefeller Plaza.
Deadline: March 2, 2023.

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 15 Competition (International)
Royal Observatory Greenwich hosts the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 15 competition, which invites entrants of all ages to submit up to ten photos of the cosmos for a chance to win the grand prize of £10,000. There is a £10 fee covering up to ten images.
Deadline: Noon GMT on March 3, 2023.

STARTS Prize 2023 of the European Commission (International)
Artists and others working at the intersection of science, technology, and the arts are eligible for the STARTS Prize 2023. Two prizes worth 20,000 Euros will be awarded to projects that combine industry or technology and the arts, with the goal of opening new paths for innovation.
Deadline: March 3, 2023.

Vestige Concept Gallery’s ‘Your Wildest Dreams’ Open Call (U.S. and Canada)
Exploring reality, fantasy, and perception, ‘Your Wildest Dreams’ will showcase surreal, bizarrely imaginative, and vibrant works in its juried spring exhibition at Vestige Concept Gallery. Artists working in any medium are eligible to submit pieces for a show in March, and there is a $28 application fee.
Deadline: Midnight MST on March 11, 2023.

LAVO’s Reminiscence Art and Design Competition (International)
This prize is for artists and designers with work centered around themes of reuse, repurpose, and recycle. Eleven applicants will be selected for the exhibition, and the first-prize winner will receive $20,000. Runners-up will receive $3,000 each.
Deadline: March 31, 2023.

The Future Generation Art Prize (International)
All artists aged 35 or younger from anywhere in the world and working in any medium are eligible for this prize. One winner will receive $60,000 in cash and a $40,000 investment in their practice, and five special prizes totaling $20,000 are awarded to support other projects.
Deadline: April 30, 2023.



Barnard Library Research Awards (International)
Two artists, scholars, writers, and other researchers will gain access to the Barnard Archives and Zine Library for a project that supports access, equity, inclusion, and social justice. The award comes with $3,000 to support research.
Deadline: February 1, 2023.

National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Projects (U.S.)
Applications are open for the NEA’s largest granting program, which offers $10,000 to $100,000 awards to projects from visual arts organizations.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EST on February 9, 2023.

Design Impact Grant (Chicago)
The project of Designing a Better Chicago, the Design Impact grant program supports individuals and organizations with annual, project-specific awards of up to $25K. Projects must use design or design principles to directly address pressing issues in Chicago communities
Deadline: February 17, 2023.

Hartwig Art Foundation Curatorial Fellow (International)
One curator will contribute to the Performa Institute, Performa Publications, and Performa Magazine and will be directly involved in preparation for the Performa Biennial 2023. The salary is $52,000 and includes two weeks of paid time off, health insurance, and a travel and research budget.
Deadline: February 17, 2023.

What Can We Do? by the Asian American Arts Alliance (New York City)
This micro-grant opportunity is for artists looking to support the AAPI community in New York City with engaging, creative projects. Thirty artists selected by a random draw will receive $500 to create community projects in Chinatown, Manhattan, and Flushing, Queens.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EST on February 20, 2023.

Call Leaky Archive Digital Fellowship (Global South)
Artists, activists, makers, professionals, and collectives from the Global South are invited to apply for this digital fellowship to explore how colonial archives and collections can be critically developed and reflected upon. Fellows receive a 2,500 Euro grant and 500 Euros for project funding.
Deadline: March 2, 2023.

Jerome Foundation Arts Organization Grants (New York City and Minnesota)
These two-year flexible grants are designed to support Minnesota and New York City-based arts organizations that offer ongoing programs, services, and/or opportunities for multiple early career generative artists.
Deadline: 4 p.m. CST on May 18, 2023.

The Fluevog Artist Grant (U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, and Australia)
The John Fluevog Shoes Emerging Artist Grant is intended to help emerging artists develop their skills and increase the visibility of their artwork. The winner will receive $10,000.
Deadline: March 31, 2023.

Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund (Ukraine or refugee)
Adobe’s Creative Residency Community Fund commissions visual artists to create company projects on a rolling basis. Awardees will receive between $500 and $5,000.
Deadline: Rolling.


Residencies & Fellowships

Fine Arts Work Center Visual Artist Fellowship (International)
This seven-month residency offers 10 artists an apartment, a studio, a $1,250 monthly stipend, and $1,000 for relocation at the end of the program. There is a $65 application fee.
Deadline: February 1, 2023.

StudioWorks Artist Residency (International)
Visual artists and crafters are eligible for this four-week residency that offers a $2,000 stipend and workspace.
Deadline: February 1, 2023.

Glen Arbor Arts Center’s Artist-in-Residence (International)
Applications are open to artists working in multiple disciplines for this two-week residency. Studio space and lodging are provided, and there’s a $35 application fee.
Deadline: February 2, 2023.

MacDowell Fellowship (International)
MacDowell grants about 300 fellowships with studio space, meals, and lodgings across disciplines. The application fee is $30.
Deadline: February 10, 2023.

McKinney International Art and Design Residency (International, outside the U.S.)
The Eskenazi School of Art Architecture + Design invites artists and designers for a four- to six-week residency. Applicants must have a primary country of residence outside the United States. Studio space, lodging, and a $7,000 stipend will be provided.
Deadline: February 15, 2023.

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency (U.S.)
The Squeaky Wheel Residency is open to artists and researchers working in film, video, virtual reality, game development, textiles, metal, woodwork, 3D printing, sonic arts, installation, performance, and more. Residents receive a $1,000 stipend, up to $700 for child care and/or disability support, and up to $300 in travel.
Deadline: February 19, 2023.

NXTHVN 2023–2024 Fellowship Applications (International)
NXTHVN welcomes eight artists and two curators to this ten-month program. Each fellow receives a stipend ($45,000 for curators and $35,000 for artists), studio or office space, housing, and professional development sessions led by visiting artists, curators, scholars, and practitioners. Participants are also matched with a high school apprentice.
Deadline: February 27, 2023.

Etant Donnés Curatorial Fellowship (U.S.)
Open to U.S.-based curators interested in researching the French art scene, these fellowships offer research opportunities and a $3,000 stipend.
Deadline: February 28, 2023.

Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellowships (International)
The Morgan Library & Museum is hosting a two-year curatorial fellowship awarded to two scholars from communities historically underrepresented in the curatorial and special collections fields. Fellows receive $50,000 annually, benefits, and an annual $1,500 travel budget.
Deadline: February 28, 2023.

Ucross Foundation Residencies and Fellowships (International)
Ucross has two programs open across disciplines: a general studio residency and Ford Family Foundation Fellowships open to Oregon artists only. Chosen applicants receive studio space, living accommodations, and a $1,000 stipend. There is a $40 application fee.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. MST on March 1, 2023.

Mainframe Studio Residency (International)
The aim of this residency is to provide emerging and established artists the experience of the working conditions that artist Alex Brown (1966-2019) found in Des Moines. Residents receive housing, studio space, and a $1,000 monthly stipend, plus airfare or reimbursement for other travel to and from Des Moines.
Deadline: March 15, 2023. 

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Artist Residency (International)
Five to ten artists working in wood, glass, metal, fiber, and clay will be awarded residencies. The program offers a $1,000 monthly stipend, studio space, cultural and professional development opportunities, and an opportunity to give an artist talk.
Deadline: March 31, 2023.

Martin House Creative Residency Program (U.S.)
Artists and researchers working across disciplines are eligible for this residency that supports ongoing projects or the creation of new work with ties to architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, and/or the Martin House. Residents receive a stipend of $5,000 and travel expenses up to $1,000.
Deadline: March 31, 2023.

Lillstreet Art Center Artist-in-Residence Program (International)
Lillstreet Art Center offers residencies in ceramics, metalsmithing, textiles, drawing & painting, and printmaking & book arts beginning in September every year. Residents receive a $400 monthly stipend, studio space, access to the center’s facilities, an exhibition, and paid teaching opportunities.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. CST on May 1, 2023.



Design Food

Savor These Decadent Cakes, Pastries, and Other Sweet Treats in the Soft Glow of Candlelight

February 1, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a cake candle

Photos by Julie Purpura, all images © Center of Order and Experimentation, shared with permission

Just like recipes are passed from one generation to the next, so are the methods behind the decadent cakes and pastries of Cereria Introna. Piped with thick pink frosting or dusted with sugar, the confections are handmade in Italy by a family that’s been whipping up creations since the mid-1800s. What differentiates their sweets from the bakery down the street, though, is how they’re consumed: rather than melt in your mouth, Cereria Introna’s desserts are candles made of paraffin wax. In addition to slices of cake and banana splits drizzled with chocolate, the company also crafts fruits, loaves of bread, and even garnished plates of spaghetti for savoring at home.

If you’re in Chicago, stop by the Center of Order and Experimentation to find an impeccably curated selection of the candles. Otherwise, check out the company’s site.


A photo of a cake candle

A photo of a cake candle

A photo of cake candles

Photo by Paul Octavious

A photo of a cake candle

A photo of a banana split candle

A photo of a catbcandle



Craft Dance Science

Trick Facial Recognition Software into Thinking You’re a Zebra or Giraffe with These Pyschedelic Garments

February 1, 2023

Kate Mothes

A group of models wearing colorful garments that are woven using an algorithm to trick facial recognition software.

All images © Cap_able, shared with permission

Here’s some unusual criteria to consider when deciding what to wear: if you’re scanned by facial-recognition software, do you prefer being detected as a zebra, giraffe, or a dog? Cap_able, an Italian fashion-meets-tech startup, prompts consumers to consider individual rights to privacy when making decisions about self-expression. The studio’s inaugural project, the Manifesto Collection, combines knitwear with an algorithm into a kind of 21st-century camouflage that protects the wearer’s biometric data without the need to conceal the face.

Built on ideas of collaboration and awareness, Cap_able was established in 2019 to fuse technology, textiles, and fashion into a high-tech product with everyday applications. Evocative of Magic Eye puzzles, the technology behind the Manifesto Collection‘s psychedelic patterns is an innovative system “capable of transposing images called adversarial patches onto a knitted fabric that can be used to deceive people detectors in real time,” the company says.

Choosing what to wear is the first act of communication we perform every day. (It’s) a choice that can be the vehicle of our values,” says co-founder and CEO Rachele Didero. Likening the commodification of data to that of oil and its ability to be sold and traded by corporations for enormous sums—often without our knowledge—Didero describes mission of Cap_able as “opening the discussion on the importance of protecting against the misuse of biometric recognition cameras.” When a person dons a sweater, dress, or trousers woven with an adversarial image, their face is no longer detectable, and it tricks the software into categorizing them as an animal rather than a human.


Models wearing colorful garments that are woven using an algorithm to trick facial recognition software. Text on the image shows percentages of machine confidence.

The idea for the startup was planted in 2019 when Didero enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she was introduced to topics and issues around privacy and human rights. The idea of combining fashion and computer science evolved during months of research in working with textiles and studying artificial intelligence. She developed the now-patented concept of knitting adversarial imagery directly into the fabric of the garments, giving them the ability to respond to an individual’s size and shape, as opposed to existing versions which could only be applied to surfaces. After developing prototypes and testing the patterns using different types of recognition software, Didero teamed up with business partnert Federica Busani to launch the first collection.

Unlike most clothing items you’ll find on the rack, Cap_able’s garments are accompanied by some unique fine print: “The Manifesto Collection‘s intent is not to create an invisibility cloak, rather, it is to raise awareness and protect the rights of the wearer wherever possible.” See the full collection on Cap_able’s website.


A model wearing a colorful garment that is woven using an algorithm to trick facial recognition software.

A pair of pants woven with an algorithm that tricks facial recognition software into detecting a dog.

Textiles woven with an algorithm to trick facial recognition software.   A group of models wearing colorful garments that are woven using an algorithm to trick facial recognition software.

A model wearing a woven top that tricks facial recognition software into mistaking the person for a dog. A model wearing a brightly colored dress and standing in front of a mural.