kids

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Art

Mixed-Media Portraits by Nelson Makamo Reflect Childhood Innocence and Wonder

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson Makamo, shared with permission

Nelson Makamo (previously) is known for his oversized, lively portraits of the children and teens he meets around Johannesburg. Using a distinct blend of acrylic, watercolors, monotypes, silkscreen, and oil paint, the South African artist often delineates their silhouettes with a thick line of charcoal before adding colorful details to their clothing and faces. The resulting works are simultaneously earnest and imbued with a sense of wonder.

Whether posed or engaged in rowdy activities, many of the subjects sport bright, round glasses, emphasizing Makamo’s focus on viewing the world through the lens of childhood. His subjects “embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all. We are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life through a child’s perspective,” he says in a statement.

Makamo recently closed a solo exhibition at Botho Project Space this January, and you can find more of his dynamic pieces on Artsy and Instagram.

 

 

 



Dance

A 9-Year-Old Dancer Grooves to an Intensely Choreographed Routine and Clocks 10,000 Steps in Just Three Minutes

January 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

It’d be difficult for most of us to move as gracefully as nine-year-old Lilyana Ilunga, but a new campaign by the Swedish nonprofit Generation Pep just wants to get young people on their feet. Set to a revamped version of a 2007 track by French EDM musicians Justice, “DANCE 10000” showcases the young prodigy, who flaunts her moves from the second she wakes up and slips on one of the many pairs of sneakers strewn about her room. Ilunga keeps grooving onto the subway platform, through the halls at school—she even has a quick competition with the janitor—and all the way back to her bedroom, shoes smoking.

Although Ilunga clocking 10,000 steps in mere minutes is slightly exaggerated, Generation Pep released tutorials to guide kids through the intensely choreographed routine. Directed by Filip Nilsson, the campaign was created in response to the World Health Organization’s data that more than 340 million children and young adults are overweight or obese.

 

 

 



Art

A Small Scottish Town Delegates the Annual Christmas Light Display to Its Youngest Residents

December 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images via Poppy McKenzie Smith, shared with permission

In a delightful holiday tradition, the small town of Newburgh in southern Scotland tasks its youngest residents with creating the glowing Christmas decorations that adorn the streets. Now in its 19th year, the annual event begins with school-age kids submitting their quirky designs to a competition. Once a winner is chosen, the artwork is sent to Blachere Illumination to be translated into LED before it’s unveiled at a ceremony held at Lampost 15, where the new work is hung each year. The winning artist gets the honor of turning on the light, illuminating their crooked gingerbread figure or beaming reindeer for the 2,000-plus residents to enjoy. In a similarly charming practice, the runner-up’s art is featured on the town’s Christmas card. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



Animation

Nobody Is Normal: A New Animation Reveals What Lies Just Beneath the Surface of Being a Kid

November 11, 2020

Christopher Jobson

However weird you feel inside, you’re not alone. That’s the literal message of this delightful animated short created for the UK children’s charity Childline — a 24-hour hotline that helps kids navigate bullying, abuse, sex education, and pretty much any other stressor you can imagine. Directed by Catherine Prowse (previously), the film imagines the sometimes unbearable anxiety of growing up and the ultimately futile attempt to bottle it all up. Prowse also shares a fun making-of clip. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

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Animation still

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

 

 



Design

Throughout Ukrainian Hospitals, CUBA BUBA Installs Game-Filled Escapes for Young Patients

November 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

“CUBA BUBA SUNNY.” All images © Cuba Buba, shared with permission

Since 2017, the design studio Decor Kuznetsov and the Vlada Brusilovskaya Foundation have teamed up for CUBA BUBA, a project that transforms hospital rooms throughout Ukraine into sensory wonderlands for young patients. Complete with comfy seating, reading nooks, and even open-air chimes, each module is compact and intended for children to rest and relax as they undergo various treatments.

The group recently installed its sixth iteration, “CUBA BUBA SUNNY,” which features a shelved room full of greenery and sculptures. Suspended below the light is an ornately carved ceiling that shines a unique pattern onto the eclectic collection. To inspire play, an earlier design’s facade is comprised entirely of holes, allowing kids to wind rope throughout the structure into a vibrant web.

More information and images of the playful constructions can be found on CUBA BUBA’s site. You also might enjoy Takashi Murakami’s uplifting renovation of a CT suite.  (via Design Milk)

 

“CUBA BUBA SUNNY”

“CUBA BUBA SUNNY”

“CUBA BUBA #1”

“CUBA BUBA #3”

“CUBA BUBA MATRIX”

“CUBA BUBA MATRIX”

“CUBA BUBA #4”

 

 



Art

Takashi Murakami's Iconic Flowers Engulf a CT Suite at a Washington D.C. Children's Hospital

November 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., by Kenson Noel, shared with permission

Takashi Murakami recently transformed a sterile PET/CT scan suite at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., into an uplifting garden of smiling flowers. The Japanese artist’s signature motif lines the walls and wraps around the machine itself, making the otherwise stark space less intimidating for its adolescent patients as they undergo the often lengthy and uncomfortable scanning procedure. The vibrant installation was completed in collaboration with RxArt, a nonprofit that commissions artists to create large-scale works for children’s healthcare spaces. For more from RxArt and Murakami, visit Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)