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Join Colossal and DonorsChoose.org in Filling Classrooms in Need with Art Supplies

November 16, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Whether you’re an established professional working with a top gallery, a weekend tinkerer, or a student tackling personal projects, here at Colossal we believe that your creativity enriches our world. The incredible range of art created by artists of all ages, from all backgrounds, all over the planet, is the lifeblood of our publication. That’s why, in this season of giving and receiving, Colossal is excited to partner with DonorsChoose.org to help support young artists.

DonorsChoose.org is a New York-based nonprofit that makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you. 

We’ve selected a range of art-focused projects from around the U.S., including requests for basic art supplies as well as specific needs for exploring particular techniques and materials. Each project page lets you know about the teacher and students who benefit from our collective support; how and why the supplies will be used; and includes a specific breakdown of every item and expense on the classroom’s wish list. Or, simply make a donation at the top of the page and your donation will be automatically distributed.

Why do today’s students need our support? While many students in the US are fortunate to receive arts education, 17% of elementary school students receive no instruction in visual arts, and 96% of students receive no instruction in theater. And schools with higher rates of students in poverty are less likely to provide arts education (source). Youth of color in the United States are also half as likely as their white peers to be given access to arts education, a gap that has worsened over the last three decades (source).

So, is this also a question of policy? Absolutely, and we encourage you to drop a postcard in the mail or make a phone call to your elected representatives. DonorsChoose.org is helping public school teachers close the gap for their students by connecting educators and communities. We’ll be adding new projects and keeping a running tally of the total amount we’re raising as a community on our Colossal x DonorsChoose.org Page. Together, we can help tomorrow’s artists today.

 

 



Colossal

The New Face of Colossal

November 1, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Colossal Home Page

If you noticed things are a little different around here lately, you’re right—after nearly a year of work we’re extremely excited to announce that Colossal finally has a new look! The design represents the most dramatic facelift in our 7-year history and our first true redesign in over 4 years. The design brings our underlying technology and infrastructure up to speed, making things a bit more accessible on mobile devices, improving access to our massive archive of over 5,000 articles, and introducing a few subtle new features. We have a handful of tweaks left here and there, but otherwise we’re thrilled with the result and hope you enjoy it, too.

We would like to thank the incomparable Armin Vit from UnderConsideration who helmed the entire process. Vit also published the design-oriented Quipsologies blog that coincidentally ceased publishing last month. Over the years Colossal sourced dozens of stories from Quipsologies and the web will be a bit lonelier without it.

Since our inception in 2010, Colossal has embraced the idea that our identity is intertwined with the artists, designers, and stories we publish. In years past the site reflected this through various banners and collages created by numerous artists. For this latest iteration, we collaborated with Vit to incorporate this idea through the form of a logo ‘window’. Every few months we’ll rotate images of work we enjoy and update the credits on our About page. Thanks to Hari & Deepti, Meow Wolf, Daniel Mullen, Warren Keelan, and Kilian Schönberger for helping kick things off.

A big shout out to Lui Ferreyra for our fancy new bio portraits. And lastly a hat tip to our generous web host Media Temple and their CloudTech staff who have kept things humming smoothly behind the scenes here for years.

 

 



Colossal Craft Design

Tiffanie Turner’s Debut Book Shows How To Create Her Masterful Paper Flowers

August 3, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of Tiffanie Turner and Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright Aya Brackett.

We’ve long admired the breathtaking botanical artwork crafted by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner (previously here and here). Combining her architectural training with a love of the natural world, Turner has pioneered a seemingly infinite number of techniques to craft incredibly lifelike flowers from everyday materials. And, after years of refining her unique art form, her debut book The Fine Art of Paper Flowers will be published on August 22nd.

In her comprehensive photo-filled 254-page book, Turner starts from the ground up, detailing materials and basic techniques, doling out dye recipes, and offering species-specific construction guides for leaves, stems, and buds. Finished projects range from delicate cosmos to peonies the size of a fully-grown person, and include options for personal accessories like everlasting boutonnieres and flower crowns that channel Frida Kahlo. Turner generously shares every aspect of her years of acquired knowledge in her friendly voice, with step-by-step instructions that read somewhere between a cookbook and a novel. The Fine Art of Paper Flowers is currently available for pre-order in The Colossal Shop.

And, if you live in the Chicago area or would like to visit our fair city, we are thrilled to be hosting Tiffanie for two workshops and a book signing on September 26th. Tiffanie will be teaching how to make Cosmos or Double Bomb Peonies (or both!) in an intimate workshop setting held at Colossal’s HQ. There will also be a free book signing, where copies of Tiffanie’s book will be available for purchase. Tickets and info for the workshops can be found in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Colossal

Track Shorts: A Short Film Series with Colossal at Lost Arts

July 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Still from Other Side of the Woods by Anu-Laura Tuttelberg.

Colossal is hosting a short-film program this Saturday night in Chicago at Lost Arts as part of a new series called Track Shorts. Echoing Lost Arts’ role as a laboratory and workshop for creatives working with their hands, Colossal brings together a collection of stop-motion short films that celebrate the physical labor of bringing stories to life on screen. This Track Shorts event is an hour-long program featuring over a dozen films by animators from nine countries. The screening is outdoors on an old railway loading dock at Lost Arts.

Shorts by PES, Laura Stewart, Kirsten Lepore, Norman McLaren, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg, Timothy Reckart, Gemma Green-Hope, and many others. We have just a few seats left, tickets are only $5.

 

 



Colossal

New in the Colossal Shop: Furoshiki Scarves Hand-Made in Japan by the LINK Collective

July 6, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Kyoko Bowskill, the founder of Tokyo-based LINK, is working to revive the centuries-old Japanese tradition of carrying objects of all sorts in beautiful reusable squares of fabric: furoshiki. Made from smooth and lightweight cotton fabric and measuring 90cm square (about 35 inches), these furoshiki can be twisted into wine bottle carriers, folded for gift-wrapping, knotted into a quick tote bag, spread out for a picnic, or simply tossed around your shoulders as a scarf.

From the initial design to the finishing touches, each scarf is hand-made. LINK collaborates with designers around the world to create new imagery for their scarves, adding a modern spin to the age-old concept. The small factory where each scarf is made has decades of experience that they use to pull each screen print; carefully air dry the scarves, and hand-roll and sew each seam for a polished finish.

We’ve selected some of our favorite designs for The Colossal Shop: clever origami-inspired trompe l’oeils of dots and paper, a journey tracing the dizzying path of the mountain-weaving Hida Express train, a dreamy scene of cherry blossoms in moonlight, and a contemporary take on the classic look of ruffles.

 

 



Colossal

Colossal x Maja Wronska Print Release: Modern City Watercolor Series

June 20, 2017

Colossal

Poland-based watercolor artist and architect Maja Wronska has wowed us before with her vibrant depictions of urban landscapes. Whereas most of her previous work highlighted architectural features from centuries past, recently the artist has found new focus and energy in the dense environments of more contemporary cityscapes. Hundreds of windows hover above gridded streets and prism-shaped buildings rise above bridges and freeways, while water and earth offer a subtle topographic frame. Wrońska’s confident, consistent hand and imaginative use of color capture the organic energy that makes cities come alive.

Colossal has partnered with Maja Wrońska to create three archival prints from her Modern City Series: Tokyo, Chicago, and Frankfurt. Working with the experts at ioLabs in Rhode Island, we’ve matched the artist’s original color and paper for a print that looks like it’s fresh off Wrońska’s easel. Each city is available in two sizes; all include a two inch border for convenient framing, and are printed with Moab Entrada Natural Textured 100% rag 300 gsm archival paper. Available only in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Colossal

Colossal x Josh Keyes Print Release: I’ll Melt With You

March 31, 2017

Colossal

We are honored to have worked with Portland-based painter Josh Keyes on an exclusive release of the print edition of his 2016 painting, “I’ll Melt With You,” available now in The Colossal Shop.

Keyes’ ability to paint realistic renderings of our world becomes uncanny when he wields his brush in the name of environmental issues. Animals, rocket ships, and icebergs fall prey to graffiti, leaving the viewer uncomfortably wondering whether this is a painting of the future or a photograph of the present.

“I’ll Melt With You,” originally painted in acrylic on a 12 x 16 inch panel is translated to print form in its full dimensions, with an additional white border for convenient framing, for a final size of 16 x 20 inches. Printed by our friends at ioLabs in Rhode Island on Epson Hot Press Bright 300 gsm archival paper and available exclusively in The Colossal Shop.

 

 

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