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Art Colossal

Putt Around the Playable Artworks of 'Par Excellence Redux: The Back 9,' Now Open at Elmhurst Art Museum

October 21, 2021

Colossal

All images courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum, shared with permission

The Back 9 of Par Excellence Redux, an artist-designed miniature golf course, is now open at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson as part of an open call, the exhibition of playable artworks pays homage to the incredibly popular Par Excellence, which opened in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Back 9, which runs through January 2, 2022, includes artists Wesley Baker, KT Duffy, Eve Fineman, Joshua Kirsch, Annalee Koehn, Vincent Lotesto, Joshua Lowe, Jim Merz, David Quednau, Donna Piacenza, and Liam Wilson & Anna Gershon. This round features a wide array of designs like a mirrored room in which the green spreads out into infinity, a community garden in waiting, and Koehn’s fortune-telling piece first shown 33 years ago in the initial exhibition.

Chicago sculptor Michael O’Brien conceived of the original Par Excellence, which opened to lines down the block and subsequently sold out daily. It was recognized nationally in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune, among others, and went on tour throughout Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial project called ArtGolf, which was located at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park on the site that’s now occupied by Goose Island Brewery.

Book a tee time to play the second half of the course, and remember that Colossal Members get 25% off.

 

 

 



Colossal

Interview: Chicago's Manual Cinema Reveals How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New 'Candyman'

September 7, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Having already made box-office history, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (2021) is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history as it not only critically considers racial violence and the city’s problems with gentrification but also draws in local artists, like the prolific and talented team behind the performance collective Manual Cinema. In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson talks with co-artistic director Drew Dir about the studio’s role in the cult classic horror film, from the production process to using a traditionally lighthearted medium to convey such complex and traumatic stories:

By telling those stories through shadow puppetry, which is about as far from naturalism or realism as you can get, I think that gave (DaCosta) a way to represent that legacy of violence but also filter it through the critical lens of metaphor. The puppets allow the viewer to keep a critical distance (that’s something that puppets historically have been very good at!) and to consider the historical and social forces at play, so the viewer doesn’t lose themself in too much repulsion or fascination with blood and gore.

In the conversation, Dir discusses the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets as a major component of a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and what the studio is working on next.

 

 

 

 



Art Colossal Illustration

Interview: Sara Hagale Discusses the Therapeutic Nature of Her Practice and Why She Doesn't Think About Authenticity

August 31, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Walkerings.” All images © Sara Hagale, shared with permission

Considering their undeniable relatability, it’s no surprise that Sara Hagale’s witty, whimsical, and at times anxious drawings have amassed an incredible following in recent years, a topic she speaks to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Her body of work is broad and idiosyncratic, spanning fanciful bouquets of leggy flowers to smudged self-portraits to quirky characters struggling through life, and it offers an array of emotional and aesthetic nuances that are unique to the artist.

I don’t have to feel goofy all the time in order to still be me. And I’m allowed to draw something that feels right to me in that moment even if it doesn’t match up perfectly with the other work I produce.

In a conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, Hagale discusses using her practice to process her emotions in real-time, the impossibility of authenticity, and why she prefers to work with limitations.

 

“Unconscionable”

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: The Sketchbook Project Needs Help After Its Brooklyn Collection Grows to 55,000 Globally Submitted Books

July 30, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Fifteen years ago, Steven Peterman launched The Sketchbook Project, an ongoing initiative he discusses in a new interview with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. The project, which gathers sketchbooks filled with artwork and stories from people around the globe, has since grown into the Brooklyn Art Library, and today, that collection boasts approximately 55,000 submissions.

The physical collection is an incredible creative resource. There is so much artwork from varying skill levels and artists of all ages, but there are also stories, secrets, hopes, and fears that create a magical exchange between the participant who created the book and the reader who is viewing it in person.

In the conversation supported by Colossal Members, Peterman talks about the challenges of maintaining the collection and its robust community during the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s on the horizon for the project as it changes its funding model.

 

 

 



Art Colossal

Take a Swing Around 'Par Excellence Redux,' a Mini Golf Course of Playable Artworks at Elmhurst Art Museum

July 22, 2021

Colossal

All images courtesy of the Elmhurst Art Museum, shared with permission

Now open at the Elmhurst Art Museum is Par Excellence Redux, a miniature golf course featuring a widely varied collection of playable artworks. Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson as part of an open call, the two-part course pays homage to the wildly popular Par Excellence that opened in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The designs range from a challenging optical illusion to a maze-like castle with the potential for a hole-in-one to Annalee Koehn’s fortune-telling piece first shown 33 years ago in the initial exhibition.

Chicago sculptor Michael O’Brien conceived of the original Par Excellence, which opened to lines down the block and subsequently sold out daily. It was recognized nationally in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune, among others, and went on tour throughout Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial project called ArtGolf, which was located at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park on the site that’s now occupied by Goose Island Brewery. Although artist-designed golf courses are shown at a variety of Midwest museums—you can see versions at the Walker Art Center, The Sheldon, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtPar Excellence is widely regarded as the first.

The Front 9, which runs through September 26, features artists Julie Cowan, Current Projects, Andrea Jablonski & Stolatis Inc., Annalee Koehn, Latent Design, Jesse Meredith, Gautam Rao, Robin Schwartzman & Tom Loftus (aka A Couple of Putts), and the museum’s Teen Art Council. Open October 13, 2021, to January 2, 2022, The Back 9  shows work from artists Wesley Baker, KT Duffy, Eve Fineman, Joshua Kirsch, Annalee Koehn, Vincent Lotesto, Joshua Lowe, Jim Merz, David Quednau, and Liam Wilson & Anna Gershon.

Try your hand at the first nine holes by heading over to Elmhurst’s site to book a tee time, and remember that Colossal Members get 25% off.

 

 

 



Colossal Design

Round Up 216 Lizards in a Psychedelic Infinity Puzzle from Nervous System

May 28, 2021

Colossal

All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

Can you tame the Lizard Infinity Puzzle? New from the brilliant designers at Nervous System is a vibrant gradient jigsaw made of 216 reptile pieces that tile in thousands of combinations. Because each individual lizard varies in shape and color and only pairs with specific mates, assembling even the wonkiest reptile shape is an impressive feat.

Try your hand at piecing together the cunning critter by picking up one of the puzzles from the Colossal Shop. We also have a few of Nervous System’s other infinity designs in stock, including a star-studded galaxy, lunar landscape, and sprawling world map. If you’re a Colossal Member, everything is 10% off. Just use the discount code in your account.