Interview: Jeroen Smeets Shares the Story Behind The Jaunt, the Collaborative Travel Project Sending Artists Around the World
In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, Jeroen Smeets dives into the story behind The Jaunt, a travel project that he founded in 2013. Since then, the project has sent more than 70 artists to new destinations around the globe—locations are wide-ranging, spanning from Helsinki to Los Angeles to Caye Caulker, Belize—with the goal of producing a single, hand-pulled screenprint.
We try not to guide or give too much structure for their trip. And this is what I think makes this project unique. Usually, artists travel to set up exhibitions, work on a specific project, paint murals, but rarely are they going to a place with the sole purpose of finding new inspiration.
In this conversation with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Smeets recounts The Jaunt’s first-ever collaboration, some of the surprising experiences to come out of the artists’ excursions, and what’s next for the ongoing project.
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Traveling from his home in Tokyo to cities and small villages across Asia, Ryosuke Kosuge is adept at spotting the textures and patterns that occupy local life, whether through the rocky formations surrounding Heaven’s Gate Mountain in Zhangjiajie, an array of birdcages created by a woman in Guizhou, or the wires crisscrossing a market in Nanning. His arresting images approach everyday moments from a place of curiosity and display the beauty and wonder inherent in both natural and urban environments. The photographer, who works as RK, tells Colossal that he chooses destinations based on the specific mood he hopes to convey, although sometimes those decisions are spurred by a personal desire to experience local customs and cuisine.
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Melbourne-based artist Josh Dykgraaf has a discerning eye for matching two seemingly disparate elements. In his ongoing Terraforms series, autumn leaves become feathers, magnolia petals wind into scales, and plumes form fins that swish through water. Each illustration merges flora and fauna into an entirely new fantastical creature, and a single piece can take days to complete, with the pair of Tawny Frogmouths, for example, clocking in at 55 hours and more than 3,000 layers.
“My process for how I pair natural textures with animals is usually a bit like cloud gazing—like as a kid, did you ever stare up out the clouds and make out different forms and shapes among them?” Dykgraaf says, noting that he takes all of his own photographs of the source materials on hikes or walks around his neighborhood. Once he returns to his studio, he painstakingly collages the extraordinary creatures, coating a closed beak in bark or an echidna in regrown brush following the East Gippsland fires.
In the coming months, Dykgraaf is shifting to a portrait series focused on Indigenous people around the world. His digital works will be included in The Other Art Fair in Sydney from March 18 to 21 and the virtual edition, which runs March 23 to 28. Until then, see a larger collection of the intricately constructed creatures on Behance and Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop. (via designboom)
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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 for Artists newsletter.
Chicago Botanic Garden Call for Artists with $5k to $40k for Individual Commissions
The Chicago Botanic Garden will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. A series of public programs and art experiences will celebrate the Garden’s remarkable growth and will establish the tone for the next decade. The Garden is seeking Statements of Interest from artists.
Deadline: April 12, 2021.
Pittsburgh Art in the Parks: $800,000 available as part of new public artwork initiative
The city of Pittsburgh is requesting artist qualifications for the creation of new large-scale works in each of the five Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) parks (Frick, Schenley, Riverview, Emerald View, and Highland).
Deadline: March 23, 2021.
CUE Art Foundation Open Calls for artists & curators
CUE Art Foundation is currently seeking solo exhibition and curatorial project proposals for the 2022 exhibition season. The Open Calls provide emerging and under-recognized artists and curators the necessary resources to realize an exhibition at CUE’s storefront gallery in East Chelsea, New York.
Deadline: March 11, 2021.
2021 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize
The Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize is an annual non-acquisitive international art prize that celebrates diversity and excellence in the representational visual arts. It includes all static mediums, like traditional art, digital art, and photographic media, along with all styles from realism and hyperrealism to pop surrealism and lowbrow. The contest offers more than $45,000 worth of cash, services, and product prizes.
Deadline: July 17, 2021.
Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative [city-based]
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets. Round 2 of the Asphalt Art Initiative was announced on March 2, 2021. The program will award up to 20 U.S. cities grants of up to $25,000 each, as well as on-call technical assistance.
Deadline: April 30, 2021.
Bridgeport Art Center 9th Annual Art Competition
The Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago announces a call for entries to a juried art competition and exhibition that will take place in its 4th-floor gallery this spring. It offers $3,000 in prizes, including a $1,000 best of show prize, $500 second prize, $300 third prize, and six additional $200 honorable mentions.
Deadline: April 15, 2021.
Driving the Human Open Call
Driving the Human invites designers, artists, scientists, initiatives, and agents from any field of expertise and anywhere in the world to join in shaping sustainable and collective futures that combine science, technology, and the arts in a trans-disciplinary and collaborative approach.
Deadline: April 9, 2021.
RITES OF PASSAGE: National Emerging Artists Exhibition
The Cincinnati-based nonprofit arts organization and gallery Manifest invites juniors, seniors, and recent undergrads to submit works of art for the 17th annual Rites of Passage exhibition. The Manifest Grand Jury Prize awards one cash prize ($2,500) to a single work selected as the “best of the entire season.”
Deadline: March 24, 2021.
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Say goodbye to the days of buying succulents only to watch them wilt and shrivel. Just flip open a pop-up book by photographer Daniel Gordon, and find a collection of forever-perky shrubs and greenery sprouting from the pages.
Published by Aperture, Houseplants features quirky still lifes of potted vegetation and fruit that Gordon developed using photographs found online, a process that’s central to his overall practice. The obviously constructed forms, which were created by self-described paper engineer Simon Arizpe, juxtapose the realistic nature of the plants with saturated colors and unusual depth, resulting in scenes that are distinctly informed by the internet and the melding of digital and analog techniques. “The seamlessness of the ether is boring to me, but the materialization of that ether, I think, can be very interesting,” Gordon says in a statement.
To add the sculptural greens to your collection, pick up a copy of Houseplants from Aperture or Bookshop, and explore more of the Brooklyn-based photographer’s vibrant, collaged projects on his site and Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)
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On a global scale, we collectively consume a staggering number of chopsticks each year—80 billion pairs to be exact—many of which end up discarded in landfills and other waste sites. Since 2016, though, a Vancouver-based company has been upcycling the disposable utensils into a modern, minimal line of furniture and home goods.
A new video from Business Insider goes behind-the-scenes with ChopValue to chronicle the entire production process, which starts with collecting the free, raw material from about 300 restaurants around the British Columbian city. When they’re brought back to the plant, the utensils are sorted, coated in a water-based resin, and baked in a 200-degree oven for five hours to kill all germs. They’re then broken down and loaded into a massive hydraulic machine that compresses the individual sticks into a composite board, which finally is sanded and fashioned into countertops, tiles, and dominos, among a variety of other products. Since its inception, the company has saved nearly 33 million pairs of chopsticks from entering a landfill.
With three microfactories in Canada and retailers across North America, ChopValue’s footprint is growing, and the company is currently offering opportunities for franchises. Shop coasters, shelving, and other goods on the site, and follow product launches on Twitter and Instagram. (via The Kids Should See This)
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Editor's Picks: Science
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.