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Art

A Mural of Brightly Colored Shapes and Clusters of Spots Gives a Striking Update to a School Courtyard in Sicily

January 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Ragusa Sun (Courtyard Painting)" (2018), Acrylic paint on asphalt, 45 x 147 feet, created for the Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi in Ragusa, Sicily, commissioned and organized by Festiwall and Liceo Scientifico, all photography by Piero Sabatino 

“Ragusa Sun (Courtyard Painting)” (2018), Acrylic paint on asphalt, 45 x 147 feet, created for the Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi in Ragusa, Sicily, commissioned and organized by Festiwall and Liceo Scientifico, all photography by Piero Sabatino

Atlanta-based artist Alex Brewer, a.k.a. Hense, paints overlapping shapes and patterns on canvases, outdoor murals, and even billboards. His brightly colored abstract work appears around the world, from the US and Germany to Taiwan and Australia. Most recently Brewer created an acrylic paint mural on the asphalt courtyard of the Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi high school in Ragusa, Sicily.

For the piece, titled “Ragusa Sun,” Brewer wanted to add an element of inspiration and curiosity for the students at the school. “We used colors that contrasted starkly with the existing architecture and we were very conscience of the space and scale we worked in,” he tells to Colossal. “The forms, lines, and colors are intended to be purely compositional, but I enjoy the idea of viewers having different interpretations of the work.”

Brewer’s show INTERPLAY is on view through January 26, 2019, at Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. You can follow his indoor and outdoor creations on the artist’s website and Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Design History

An Appliqued Solar System Quilt Used as a Teaching Aid in the Late 19th century

November 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

1876 Ellen Harding Baker’s “Solar System” Quilt, via The Smithsonian National Museum of American History

In the late 1800’s, teacher and astronomer Sarah Ellen Harding Baker spent seven years embroidering a star-covered quilt for her classroom in Cedar County, Iowa. In lieu of satellite images, the wool appliquéd quilt was created as a visual aid for her classroom to try to visualize the broad expanse of the universe. The design of the quilt is similar to illustrations in astronomy books of the time. It features a bright sun at its center, with several planets moving around the large star with their own orbiting moons, and Halley’s Comet streaking into the upper lefthand corner.

The piece was finished in 1876, a time when astronomy was presented as an “acceptable” interest for a women. This might have been the reason it was a popular theme for quilts of the time according to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where the quilt is currently stored. You can find several celestial examples in quilt historian Barbara Brackman’s Solar System Quilt post on her blog Material Culture. (via Open Culture)

 

 



Design

A Bamboo Recreation Facility Inspired by the Lotus Flower Blooms in Thailand

August 9, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The Panyaden International School is an education center located in Chiang Mai, Thailand built entirely from natural materials. Architecture firm Chiangmai Life recently designed a covered recreation hall for the school’s sports teams, creating a 2,500-square-foot bamboo terrace that echos the Buddhist values found in the school’s curriculum. The lotus-inspired structure was built without any steel reinforcements or other manmade materials, and stays naturally cool in the city’s humid climate while also withstanding high-speed winds and earthquakes. (via Inhabitat)

 

 



Art

Students Rename School House After Banksy, Banksy Shows Up

June 6, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photos by Jon Kay

Elementary students at Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol arrived this morning to discover an eye-opening new mural by Banksy that appeared sometime in the night, but the placement wasn’t random: the building itself is used for a house bearing elusive street artist’s name. Several weeks ago the school held a competition to rename houses and the winners were Brunel, Blackbeard, Cabot and Banksy (the artist’s work first appeared in the city in the early 1990s). When the students returned from half-term they found the new mural on a blank wall of the building.

The new piece depicts a scribbled figure of a child playing with a stick and hoop, but the hoop has been replaced with a giant flaming tire. Perhaps not the inspirational motif you’d expect to adorn a primary school, but we imagine it must be inline with their sense of humor. The mural was also accompanied by a fantastic note:

“Dear Bridge Farm School, thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Much love, Banksy.”

(via Arrested Motion)

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Photo by Jon Kay

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Photo by Jon Kay

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Photo by Jon Kay

 

 



Art

Okuda San Miguel Transforms the Walls of an Italian Kindergarten Into a Prismatic Fairytale

April 26, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images provided by Ink and Movement.

Okuda San Miguel (previously here and here) recently visited the Italian town of Arcugnano with his assistant Antonyo Marest to paint five different murals on the walls of the town’s kindergarten. The five murals contain birds, bears, and a winged lion—each radiating a spectrum of colors that seem to animate the mystical creatures. San Miguel was watched closely by an audience of the kindergarten’s students as he completed the murals, each work inspired by positivity, love, freedom, and nature. You can see this and other works on the artist’s Instagram.

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History Illustration

An Oklahoma School Discovers 100-Year-Old Chalkboard Drawings Hidden in the Walls

June 8, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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All images courtesy Oklahoma City Public Schools

While undergoing renovations last week, workers at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a surprising discovery: when removing several old chalkboards they found an even older set of chalkboards hidden in the walls. Apparently the school didn’t remove or even bother to erase the oldest boards they replaced back in 1917, leaving various lessons and illustrations untouched for nearly a century.

The images and writing depicted on the boards include a list of hygiene tasks, an unusual mathematics lesson, music, and several references to pilgrims, probably correlating with the time of year the boards were last used around December. A school district spokesperson says they are working with the city to preserve the chalk drawings. You can see several more of the educational time capsules over at the Washington Post. (via Neatorama)

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Art

A Sprawling Mud Mural by Yusuke Asai Brings Art Into Classrooms in India

May 30, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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“Earth Painting: Blessing Dance” 2011, 11 kinds of soils, cow dung, ash of straw, water, straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

The Wall Art Project is a non-profit organization based in Tokyo who organizes Wall Art Festival (WAF), an initiative to bring art into schools in places like India and Tibet. The Japanese artist Yusuke Asai, who paints with basically anything he can get his hands on (tape, pens, leaves, dust and mud…) was asked to travel to the Niranjana School in Bihar (east India) to create a mural on the walls of a classroom.

You can only imagine the surprise when Asai unveiled a sprawling, immersive mural titled “Earth Painting; The Forest of Vows.” To create the piece, Asai sourced only locally available materials which included 7 different types of soil, cow dung, water and straw. Unfortunately the installation wasn’t permanent and was washed away after several months, but we do have these photos to document the art. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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“Earth Painting: Blessing Dance” 2011, 11 kinds of soils, cow dung, ash of straw, water, straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

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“Earth Painting: Blessing Dance” 2011, 11 kinds of soils, cow dung, ash of straw, water, straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

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“Earth Painting: Stories of YAOYOROZU” 2012, 13 kinds of soils, water, ash of straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

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“Earth Painting: Stories of YAOYOROZU” 2012, 13 kinds of soils, water, ash of straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

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left: “Earth Painting: Blessing Dance” 2011. Photo by Kenji Mimura | right: “Earth Painting; The Forest of Vows” 2010. Photo by Junai Nakagawa

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“Earth Painting: Stories of YAOYOROZU” 2012, 13 kinds of soils, water, ash of straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura

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“Earth Painting; The Forest of Vows” 2010, 7 kinds of soils, cow dung, water, straw. Photo by Junai Nakagawa

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“Earth Painting: Stories of YAOYOROZU” 2012, 13 kinds of soils, water, ash of straw. Photo by Kenji Mimura