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Presidential Portraits

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Craft, Travel | 4 comments

A new portrait of President Obama was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last week. It was met with mixed reviews.

Obama portrait unveiled

Critics compared the unconventional painting by Kehinde Wiley to portraits from the White House collection, implying that the new work – and, by extension, Obama himself – was less dignified or presidential than those that came before.

Washington portrait by Stuart

But it’s a flawed comparison. This is not his White House portrait. (Also? Judge presidents by their actions, not by artwork created of them.)

Nixon by Rockwell

There are two collections of portraits that include all (except the most recent) former U.S. Presidents: the 43 paintings in the White House and the more varied collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG), which also includes sculptures and photographs.

Gerald Ford by Oliphant

The portraits in the White House are often more formal and official-looking than their NPG counterparts, especially in recent decades, when artwork has been veering away from tradition, widening the gap between the two collections.

Truman, Kennedy, Bush portraits from White House and NPG

Wiley’s painting has been installed in the National Portrait Gallery, where I’m sure it stands out as unique, but not out of place.

President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley


PS Obama’s portrait has been re-created on a cookie.  

Photos via the White House and National Portrait Gallery.

 

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This February Share Your #LocalArtLoves!

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

Let’s celebrate local art and artists!

BTA art by Bud Heiss

Since we had fun sharing Local Art Loves last year, I thought we could keep the challenge going throughout the month of February this time!

Local Art Loves

Just look for art in your community and share photos using the hashtag #LocalArtLoves on Twitter or Instagram. I’ll post some of your finds here on the site.

Keep an eye out for public art, local galleries, neighborhood art walks, and rotating art displays at coffee shops or libraries. You can also share favorite art spaces, street art, or your own work.

Round sculptures by Peter Skidd at Renee Taylor Gallery

Can’t wait to see some art from where you live!


First photo: Paintings by Bud Heiss on display at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Last photo: Round sculptures by Hidden in the Hills artist Peter Skidd at Renee Taylor Gallery, Sedona.




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Vacancy

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 6 comments

Historic hotel in Peoria AZPhillip read an article an old hotel that had been sitting abandoned for years with plans to tear it down when the city decided instead to preserve it.

Historic hotel in Peoria AZ

He wanted to go find the Edwards Hotel on his day off, so we drove to the Peoria address in the article. It wasn’t hard to find.

Edwards hotel

Even from outside the chain link fence, it was interesting to guess what had been there originally and what had been added later.

IMG_9564

Then we took a stroll around Old Town Peoria, where there’s currently not much going on, but they have a revitalization program in the works.

 

Peoria

image

Peoria

State bird quilt

In the meantime, they have ornate, agriculturally-themed bus stops, a handful of historic buildings (including a church that was turning 100 the week we were there),  and a nice little community center with paintings and quilts on display. It was all a cozy contrast to the hollowed-out hotel.

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Peoria

Peoria

 

Peoria Quilt




 

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Local Art Loves

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 8 comments

A couple weeks ago, I invited everyone to share art from where you live. Since then, we’ve seen #localartloves from the east coast to the west coast!

Photo by McKinley Art Solutions

San Francisco, CA

Matt McKinley of McKinley Art Solutions shared work from Justin Hoover’s ‘Martial Spirit’ exhibition, currently at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco.

Photo by Traci Cavanaugh York‏ @TraciYorkWriter
Traci Cavanaugh York‏ @TraciYorkWriter

New Hampshire

Traci York shared some of her nature photography from the chilly Northeast.

Local first arizona

Cottonwood, AZ

The northern office of Local First Arizona shared shirts hand printed by Christy Fisher, who makes clothing from reclaimed fabric, as well as jewelry from recycled glass and vintage silver.

IggyStarPup

Phoenix-area, AZ

Courtney Doom (a.k.a. IggyStarpup) in Phoenix shared some of her pop-culture inspired embroidery hoop art. Photo by Phillip Liebold
Phillip stopped to take a photo of this Tempe mural.

@olibalcells mural

I shared the work of several artists on Instagram including a mural by Oliverio Balcells and collaborative paintings by teenagers at Durango Detention Center.

 



 

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Hang in There! 9 Unique Wind Chime and Mobile Ideas

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Craft | 4 comments

Mobiles and wind chimes can brighten up your garden, patio, or a bare corner of your living room. And you probably have the stuff to make one right now!

Here are some unexpected objects you can use to make your own.

Colorful mobile http://www.emilyneuburger.com/2009/07/color-mobile.html

1. Wooden Discs

Emily Neuburger’s Simple Color Mobile could work inside or outside. I like the simplicity of the rainbow-colored circles, but you could also add a wooden initial or other shape.

(Side note: You know the wood-stuff-for-painting aisle in the craft store? I always have to browse through it, and, even though I don’t usually do wood craft projects, I always kind of want to buy everything in there.)

Jungalow Boho mobile

2. Souvenirs

Justina Blakeney made this Boho Mobile from an old lamp shade frame and small decorative items her in-laws brought back from India. If you have a lot of little knick knacks from trips taking up shelf space, this would be another way to display them. Like an oversized charm bracelet.

Paint Swatch Mobile By Natalme

3. Paint Swatches

Love this minimal Paint Swatch Mobile from Natalme! You can mix up the colors like she did or use a gradient of shades for an ombre or rainbow effect, which would look especially rad spinning around.

Embroidery hoop mobile by natalme

4. Embroidery Hoops

Another Natalme inspiration: turn embroidery hoops into a place to hold photos (or holiday cards or kids’ artwork)!

Ceramic bell

5. Clay and Copper Pipes

Decorative ceramic bells made from Sculpey by A Beautiful Mess. Apparently, these are purely decorative, since they don’t actually ring. I’m wondering whether you could change that with some metal inside the clay. Or what if you hung more than one copper pipe from each bell, making every bell into kind of a mini-wind-chime?

Sea Glass DIY Wind Chimes
6. Sea Glass

Crafts Unleashed has a turorial for displaying your beach-combing finds as sea glass wind chimes!

Key Mobile

7. House Keys

You can also make a wind chime from old keys, like this one from Inner Child Fun.

FYI I found this on a list by The Garden Glove (with about a dozen more DIY ideas).
Bottle Cap mobile

8. Bottle Caps

Trina Lyn (of Trina Is Artsy Fartsy) shared this tutorial of how to make a bottle cap wind chime, as frequently seen – but not always explained – on Pinterest.

Junk Windchime by Trina Lyn

9. Random Junk

Trina also combined a variety of found objects, including a smashed vintage beer can, into The Junk Windchime. It brings together a lot of the materials in the other projects above, like bottle caps, glass, beads, and a key.

What materials would you use for a mobile creation? Chime in!

IMG_8930

For Your Inspiration

A few more shareworthy (and shoppable) mobiles and wind chimes:




Photos via their respective sites.

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