public art

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Animation Art Illustration

Around the Block: David Zinn's Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway.

A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on Lewis’s Vimeo, and check out more of Zinn’s eccentric creatures on Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

A Technicolor Flower Bed Sprouts From a 70-Foot-Tall Water Tower in Arkansas

January 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

A drab water tower in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, is overrun with a 70-foot-tall garden of technicolor flowers and vines thanks to artists Darren and Emmelene Mate, aka DabsMyla. The Australian wife and husband are known for their hand-painted psychedelic dreamscapes, which envelop the otherwise utilitarian tank with oversized flora. Titled “Magical Unity,” the circular mural features plants native to the region, along with a fuzzy bumblebee mid-pollination, all rendered in the duo’s playful style.

DabsMyla completed the public project in just one week, which they describe:

Color plays a big role in our work and how we create. For this piece, we wanted to produce an uplifting feeling through flowers and running a rainbow of hues from the bottom to the top. This is a really large work, and we hope that it will positively impact the community and bring happiness to everyone who passes by it.

The transformative artwork is the latest commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, which have been collaborating to revitalize areas around Arkansas in recent years. Shop pins and stickers of DabsMyla’s quirky characters in their shop, and check out more of the couple’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Photorealistic Figures Embody Childhood Wonder in Dreamy Murals by Lula Goce

January 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Bronx, New York City. All images © Lula Goce, shared with permission

From New York City to Azerbaijan to Kristianstad, Sweden, artist Lula Goce transforms blank walls into ethereal artworks that illustrate childlike wonder and growth. Her murals merge photorealistic renderings of adolescent subjects with otherworldly surroundings: plumes of flowers and vines wind around the figures, serpentine creatures emerge from the plants, and shrunken landscapes rest in the children’s hands. Serene and dreamy, the works often center on children painted in subtle tones who peer into the distance or are deep in sleep.

Based in Vigo, Spain, Goce sells prints of her large- and small-scale works in her shop, and you can follow where she’s headed next on Instagram.

 

Kristianstad, Sweden

Belorado, Spain

Murcia, Spain

Vigo, Spain

Västervik, Sweden

Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

Panxon, Nigrán, Spain

 

 



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)

 

 

 



Art

A Monumental Figure Reveals a Fern-Canopied Tunnel Inside Its Chest in Sculpture by Daniel Popper

December 17, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Thrive, 2020. © Daniel Popper

Cape Town-based artist Daniel Popper has become well-known for his towering sculptures of human figures adorned with or penetrated by thick canopies of foliage. His latest piece titled Thrive stands nearly 30 feet tall and is constructed from 14 tons of glass fiber reinforced concrete. The piece was recently unveiled at Society Las Olas, a residential complex in Fort Lauderdale, and will function as a permanent public art installation at the ground floor. Popper’s work is often more temporary with limited installations at global music festivals like Electric Forest here in the US or Boom Festival in Portugal, where sometimes his pieces take center stage. You can follow more of his work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Pair of Vibrant, Color-Blocked Murals by Lakwena Transform Two Basketball Courts in Arkansas

December 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

Tucked into the verdant landscape of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, are two dramatically altered basketball courts primed for play. Commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, the public project was conceived by London-based artist Lakwena, who transformed the outdoor spot into a lively area with her trademark typographic murals.

Basketball jargon covers the patterned court with an arched “Make it rain” demarcating the three-point lines. Creating under a larger theme of unity, Lakwena also referenced iconic poet Maya Angelou, who lived in the state throughout her life. “Bury me down / still I rise” lines the perimeter of the court, with Lakwena’s title of the work, “I’ll bring you flowers,” spelled out on multi-color petals at the center circle.

This community-centered project is the artist’s second in Arkansas and follows a 2017 work at Sebastian County’s Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Smith. Lakwena writes that “I’ll bring you flowers” is an extension of that piece as it looks “at growth and blessing in spite of adversity.” She expands on the idea:

I was really excited to work in a place with a largely Black demographic. It was nice to make an artwork for people that I have a connection to in that respect, especially at what feels like a very significant time for the Black community. The piece is called “I’ll bring you flowers.” Flowers are often used as a way of greeting, paying respect and honor people, and I wanted to honor the community in Pine Bluff.

For more of Lakwena’s vibrant pieces, head to Instagram. Check out this opulent kintsugi court and another angular mural for similarly sports-centered artworks.