Sunday, September 10, 2017

ODD BITS: Pop-up shop offers felt veggies, newspapers, canned goods and just about everything else

British artist Lucy Sparrow, who handcrafts objects of all sorts from felt,
paint, yarn and thread, recently had a big success when a playful pop-up "convenience store" she set up near Manhattan's High Line last June sold out completely within a month. The shelves at "8 'Til Late" were quickly 
emptied of felt taco chips, snack cakes, assorted produce, laundry 
detergent, peanut butter, Heinz baked beans, pudding and cheese.

Left: The artist in her Manhattan pop-up shop/art installation before items started
flying off the shelves.

"The world of Feltism doesn’t assault one’s senses but instead it gently caresses them before making its point felt."

An array of awfully cute vegetables

                                                  Of course -- spam!

While the installation is about “fun and creating approachable art”, Sparrow said, "the works have a wider comment to make" about the loss of local shops in the face of superstores that have consumed 
high streets globally.

“I want the work to make people think about the loss of community spaces when these small corner shops disappear,” said Sparrow. “To remind them how valuable these corner shops really are and the colour they bring to our lives.”
Youthful candy memories ...
Bit-O-Honey, Jujyfruits, Sugar Babies and Reese's Pieces

"Lurking under the surface of Lucy’s art there is often a darker side. Whether 
it’s her felt AK-47s automatic weapons or her googly-eyed Prozac pills, her work offers commentary on the consumer world and the politics of modern life. Where others might see the harsh and ugly side of an object, Lucy will take the same thing and disarms its negative aspects with her mastery of felting 
technique and the juxtaposition of other quirky creations."

Sparrow's other solo shows include ‘The Warmongery’, 2015, Boxpark, London and ‘Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium’, 2015, Soho, London. Her work has been shown alongside great street artists at the ‘Urban Take-Over’, the V&A’s touring Street Art exhibition and in the ‘Urban Art Show’ at the Louise T Blouin Foundation in London. Pieces of her art are held in both private and corporate collections throughout the EU and the US.

Made for each other

To see a brief video of the artist discussing her work, link here.

This posting is in fond remembrance of
Chris Cavallari, whose grandfather Joseph established 
Serio's Market in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1950.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ODD BITS: A floating museum in Chicago

Chicago, a city long-renowned for its great art museums, stellar architecture 
and river setting, is now finding ways to bring art to neighborhoods
long underserved by existing downtown venues.

This summer, a mobile museum featuring works by local artists traveled to communities throughout the city via a 100-foot floating barge, traversing 
the Chicago River. Dubbed the Chicago River Float, the platform 
hosted film screenings, exhibitions, roundtable discussions and 
performance art, part of the city's 
2017 Night Out in the Parks programming.

The barge began its route in southeast Chicago and made multiple 
stops, ending at the Navy Pier. Hopefully, this will become an annual event.

Above: Performance art and dance along the River Walk

Below: Hangin' by the water, watching all the art go by

For more information about the Chicago River float,
link here.

~ oOo ~

Saturday, September 2, 2017

EXHIBITIONS: Making Room: Housing for a Changing America at National Building Museum

 The Great Hall of the National Building Museum in Washington, DC
Photo credit: Michael Schonbach

The National Building Museum, a venue I can't seem to get enough of, will soon open a timely exhibition, Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.  
Originally organized by the Museum of the City of NY, it will be sure 
to interest the baby boom generation, demonstrating ideas for adapting houses 
for aging in place, or for multigenerational families who 
want to share a household.

 Micro Unit living space featured in Making Room
 Photos courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

To see a short video that demonstrates the transformation 
of this 325 square foot mini-apartment 

from living room to office to bedroom, link here.
 Built by Clei and Resource Furniture.

Laws that govern the size, shape, and occupancy of our housing have 
not kept pace with the changing needs of our population. 
Making Room will feature five proposals for new types of housing, 
including mini-studios for single adults, shared housing options, 
and accessory units for extended families. The proposals 
will be illustrated through models, 
drawings, and animated videos. 

A giant sized television slides to the right
to reveal barware. The chair near the window flips over 
at the middle and turns into a stepladder. Cubby boxes on the wall
provide display areas without taking up any floor space.
Photo courtesy of Museum of City of New York.

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Making Room will be on view at the NBM from
November 18, 2017 through September 16, 2018.
For more info, visit 

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     Below: Currently on exhibit at the National Building Museum

The Great Hall, all decked out for a glamorous dinner reception
(My invitation apparently got lost in the mail.)