Google Goes to the Grades

I have to give Google kudos for getting kids involved in their doodles. One of the finalists from their national search for their Doodle for Google contest is from Alexandria, VA. Excellent! Can’t help but give my support to my local town and to Eileen Powell.

Google-Doodle_artwork by Eileen Powell, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

The winner will be announced this Friday, May 18th —  judged by the likes of Katy Perry, Jordin Sparks and Mo Williams among others…You can find Eileen’s and all the state finalists’ artwork here:

These designs are so clever.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get this post together in time to announce before the voting had closed but check it out for the winner. It’s a cool concept from Google to get budding artistic children interested in the arts. Who knows, maybe their current artist, who I did this post on, can take a break every now and then.

The themes are chosen by the most clever conceptualization of the Google Logo that expresses the visual answer to this question, “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” Eileen’s theme work is the 1970’s. I like her rendition of the fingers making the peace sign and that daisy “o” flower is so groovy. Good luck!!

If you missed this year’s contest, you can enter next year and if you’re out of school and just love to doodle, here’s what Google says about becoming a “Googler:”

Googlers and fans from around the world suggest the topics from which the doodle team doodles (you can suggest one too at [email protected]).

You never know what doodle might come next but we’re particularly fond of science, innovation, creativity, and fun. We also love to celebrate cultures from all around the world.

 But there is a pretty darn good monetary reason to enter if you can:

• Each of the other four National Finalists will win a $5,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of their choice, a trip to New York for the final event on May 17, 2012,  a Wacom digital design tablet, and a t-shirt printed with their doodle on it.

The National Winner will have his or her doodle featured on the U.S. homepage. He or she will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of his or her choice, a trip to New York for an event on May 17, 2012, a Google Chromebook computer, a Wacom digital design tablet, and a t-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it. We’ll also award the winner’s full time school a $50,000 technology grant towards the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology programming.

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Collaborative Projects

It’s pretty inspirational to me to see projects that come together based on innovation, talent and public participation.

When I first saw this mural, I thought I recognized the unique stylistic hand of C.F. Payne, one of my favorite contemporary illustrators, but with all the scaffolding in front and even with the resource post, Mural, mural on the wall by Soapbox Media, it seemed unclear and I wasn’t sure I understood. After several reads now I see, or at least I think I understand the background and how it has come together.

Singing Mural by CF Payne_Photo by Scott-Beseler of Social Media, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Singing Mural by CF Payne - Photo by Scott-Beseler of Social Media

This Singing Portrait Mural is by C.F. Payne, who’s not known as a muralist, but MuralWorks in Cincinnati (a public art sub-branch of ArtWorks) has painted it in collaboration and according to C.F. Payne’s illustration. This is what I like about ArtWorks’ MuralWorks program:

ArtWorks employs teen and professional artists to work side-by-side with communities to transform our region.  Since MuralWorks began in 2007, ArtWorks has painted 34 murals in 25 neighborhoods in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  Your neighborhood can be next!

Here’s a little secret — they even hold Secret Artist Events called Secret ArtWorks. The next one is November 18 but wait, you can attend the best of all their past Secret ArtWorks events on October 6 at their MasterWorks event.

The other part of this collaboration was in in relation to JR, a street artist who won the 2011 TED award with his international Inside Out idea to get everyone and anyone involved in art by submitting their portraits, in which they would receive posters on which they were printed and they would then paste the posters in a public area in order to be a part of the public art, global community project. The teen artists painting C. F. Payne’s Singing Portrait Mural for MuralWorks participated in Inside Out with their own portraits that they had pasted on the wooden planks surrounding the scaffolding on which they were working to paint the mural.

INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Upload a portrait. Receive a poster. Paste it for the world to see.

InsideOut project photos_JR Photography, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

I like this idea but I do not consider individual photographic portraits pasted to singular spots in public spaces as murals. They are more like pin-up posters or similar to something you could see as billboard advertisements in Times Square. However, I did a post on JR and the strategic placements of large scale photographic portraits that he uses in his own work is different in how they are used collectively to transform an entire village or community or public space and it’s people is truly remarkable. No wonder JR is the winner of the 2011 TED Prize.

From the streets of Paris, where he started to the heart of the Middle East conflict to Brazil and Cambodia, here are a few of his works from the latter location. The changing eyes on the train is brilliant.

JR public art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

JR street art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

JR street art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

This is where “street art” can be powerful and leaves a lasting impression long after the artwork is gone.

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June for All Seasons

“June for All Seasons” is the title of an art exhibit at Artist’s Undertaking in Occoquan, VA.

When I saw Steve Myles’ painting, Carolina Sea Oats of the beach dunes in the newspaper, I was immediately drawn in by his realistic style and ability to really capture truly serene settings in Nature. His paintings give me that quite contemplation one has when they ponder their existence and reflect on what is important. I really like his work and hope to see it in person before June is over.

Steve Myles_Carolina Sea Oats on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_ Bull Run Afternoon on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_Sweetgum Sunlight on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_Winter Sunset on Art Is Everywhere

If you like these, shoot on over to Slipcovers for your Walls, where we’re holding Casart coverings’ first ever contest. You can win a painted Casart Mural wallcovering from our newly launched Katherine Collection. Now, we just brought it back to Mural Mondays.


Casart coverings Katherine Collection - Quickie on the Beach

Casart coverings Katherine Collection - Quickie on the Beach

This one, Quickie on the Beach was painted by my Aunt Katherine Jackson. Yes, that is the actual title, but I’m sure my Aunt was only thinking of painting the scene quickly on the beach….:) Click the link to learn more about her and her prolific work.

Aunt-Katherine_photos on Art Is Everywhere

Aunt Katherine montage - the funny and eccentric painter and person she was

Here’s are previous posts referring her remembrance and at the time of her passing.

I just learned about a new band, Junior Boys, that although is electric pop, reminds me a bit of Radiohead and I just learned that Lloyd Cole is coming to the Birchmere, but unfortunately he’s solo without the Commotions these days to sing Perfect Skin.

This Kick Starting the Weekend video set to Junior Boys’s Parallel Lines is mesmerizing. I think my son Jackson would like it:

Now, I like this other song, In the Early Morning, better, but the video gives me the heebie jeebies for too many reasons.

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The Creative Connector Project

Did you know that artists are connectors? This is what the Leadership Philadelphia’s current study suggests — artists are creative community connectors and it is their intent to affirm from this study that the arts are an economic engine as part of this process.

I find this concept interesting but the outcome, I think, is obvious. Yes, I believe artists are connectors because they are creative and  seek out-of-the-box type of solutions for getting things done. People are naturally drawn to their ideas because they inspire and trigger their thought process and brain activity which sparks energy. Like synapses in neurons firing, once a creative idea gets sparked, artists connect others through their expressive ideas and people are naturally and positively drawn to this type of positive and exciting energy.

This study has its premise based on Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point (great read by the way), in which Gladwell “used this term to describe people who know everyone and get things done. They’re the glue holding the community together, and are often under the radar,” according to Liz Dow, the director of Leadership Philadelphia. “She’s not looking for just any artist.” “We’re looking for someone who pulls a community together,” as this The Philadelphia Inquirer online article describes. “The Mural Arts Program is a perfect example,” Dow said. Click here to learn more about this opportunity for artists, regarding the study and how to submit nominations though July Ist.

Speaking of Murals, since this is Mural Monday. Here are a few murals that I did not get to post when I wrote about our family trip to Philly, and especially to see a few of the many murals as part of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (MAP).


Bike Spoke Mural_ by Kerrin seen on Art is Everywhere

Bike Spoke Mural. Photo by Kerrin on Flickr

Wowza! So many of Philly’s murals surprise the visual senses.

1_Philly-Mural_Notions-Oceans as seen on Art Is Everywhere

"Just Before Fall" by James Burns, via Notions' Oceans blog

If you want to know more about Philadelphia’s public art, these sites are worth visiting:

Live Arts & Fringe Festival Blog — where you can see how the largest Philly mural in the airport was painted through a community paint day and keep informed of other public art activities.


community-paint-day via Live Arts & Fringe Festival Blog, seen on ArtIsEverywhere
community-paint-day via Live Arts & Fringe Festival Blog

The Art Blog


Ben Volta_Home That Was, via The Art Blog as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Grid – Towards a Sustainable Philadelphia — See all sorts of initiatives to everyday beautification: Lunch Truck Project and Recycling Trucks among many artistic solutions.


Philadelphia Painted Lunch Truck via Grid, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Philadelphia Painted Lunch Truck via Grid

Philly "tricked" truck via Grid, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Philly “tricked” truck via Grid

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Print on Demand

I  was curious with what has happened with Written Images, a print-on-demand, one-of-a-kind, individual book creation with a compilation of digital art randomly assembled through a computed generated algorithm when ordered. Wow that’s a mouthful!

Here’s the original concept that I first learned about on Trendhunter, which I love as a resource (in my sidebar). The artists have been selected through a juried process and the Written Images project has started their printing with start-up money through Kickstarter, a cool crowdsource funding site for artists. I’ve looked into it as well.

Written Images from d_effekt on Vimeo.

It’s a concept that I’m interested in as my company, Casart coverings does digital printing of custom wall covering as print-on-demand.

We’re getting ready to unveil some pretty cool concepts in new designs and a new Signature Color collection so stay tuned here via our press warehouse and you may want to fan and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Another high tech thing is Art in Design, a  Virtual Art Exhibit app, from VPAP (Virtual Public Art Project), which allows “University students to hold an art exhibit this week in a virtual realm through augmented reality.”

VPAP-Art-in-Design on Art is Everywhere

Art in Design App from VPAP

Here’s an artistic opportunity and call for artists announcement for the Festival of Arts in Wayne County, CA:

The Festival of the Arts is seeking proposals for 2011 public art competition for murals and sculptures. The prizes are $5,000 for best mural and $2,000 for best sculpture for the Festival of the Arts, successor to last year’s Festival of Murals. Mural proposals are due May 27 and sculpture proposals are due June 15.

And finally, brand new music, Supercolider, from Radiohead to Kick Start the Weekend:

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High School Mural Teaches More Than Creativity

It’s interesting that I ran across this alert about a  high school mural painted by students and then a separate posting about how creativity, if taught in schools, also teaches critical thinking.

This mural was painted in the lobby of Grandview High School in Missouri by students on their own free time. The subjects relate to academics as well as culture and creativity. If you listen to the video link, you’ll see that the students involved received more than just a pat on the back for the finished product. They also gained self-confidence through the creative process of creating and then painting the mural.

Grandview-high-school-mural_via Fox News, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Grandview-high-school-mural2_via Fox News, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

On a side note, this is the very first mural that I painted, I’m guessing when I was about seven years old. I’m the one in the pig-tails (at the time). I keep this photo in my Art Portfolio so my prospective clients can see that I got an early start to my painterly profession.

First Mural by Ashley Spencer via Art Is Everywhere

First Mural painted by Ashley Spencer and fellow students @ STM

The clarinet in the high school mural reminds me of the wonderful one painted on the side of the hotel in New Orleans that I posted a while back.

Clarinet Mural Full View -- Holiday Day Inn Hotel, New Orleans, seen on Art Is Everywhere

This article, Is our Education System Promoting Critical Thinking, Creativity, Innovation in Students in IPP Media as sourced from The Guardian caught my attention when it suggests that if creativity was encouraged as a method of teaching, then it could help promote “growth and sustainable development” through the process of critical thinking that leads to innovation and expression.

I’ve been having many discussions with my younger son about the importance of traditional education.  I’m accepting of a creative and experiential method but I also believe that this can be instituted within traditional learning — if taught and encouraged by the teacher and applied by the student. There has to be production and or an assessment of the outcome of these efforts so there can be review of knowledge gained and progression of performance.  My son and I are in agreement that it does him well to learn the value of working within the “real world” or a while so he can better appreciate his education. He’ll have to be pretty “creative” however in how he’s gonna get that job.

Great-Park-call-for-artists on Art Is Everywhere

Here’s an opportunity for artists as mentioned on The Daily Pilot — a worldwide competition to select artists of multiple fields to provide ideas and artistic labor to for Great Park in Irvine, Orange County, CA. The prize is free studio space in exchange for ideas and work within this “living park”:

[Four] Artists will be considered from anywhere in the world and from all artistic backgrounds — visual and performing arts, architecture and design, film and cinematography, literature and poetry and others. They can apply through Friday at the park’s website,

The artist will be given a $7,500, six-month stipend paid from the Great Park’s Arts, Culture and Heritage $850,000 annual budget.

In exchange, the artists will hold open studio hours in which they will interact with the public and host workshops, seminars and lectures, Korn said.

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Illustrated Murals

Who says murals have to be painted? I’m an illustrator first and a muralist second (because great murals come from the foundation of drawing), so I really found these illustrated murals by Charlotte Mann really exceptional and very inspirational. I’d like to know her process because executing them with a black marker means no mess ups. I wonder if she had a layout before starting? I love their doodle-like-detail. They almost make the “real” look unreal. This would be my dream-day-job to do this all day long. It reminds me of when I did do this all day long when I was younger.

1_Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

All Charlotte Mann photos via

Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Here’s a great picture to show how this type of illustrated mural work complements interior design.

Charlotte-Mann via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Koikoikoi the Visual Arts Magazine, by the way — where I found these murals — is a fabulous find for illustrated inspiration. It’s now up on my sidebar. They also like fish, it seems.

A few more opportunistic mentions, if you’re a muralist, you may want to consider having these calls for action on your radar:

1) The Neighborhood Grant Program in Baltimore announces new grants for murals:

The Neighborhood Grant Program will award $500 to $1,000 grants for special events, such as street festivals, flea markets, health fairs and block parties. Events eligible must be between May 1 and Nov. 30. Grants of between $2,500 to $10,000 will go toward the mural and garden projects.

2) MuralsDC is looking for new spaces on which to paint and they are asking businesses to submit their properties by April 15th  as possibilities for their mural work. Here’s a previous post that I wrote about MuralsDC.

3) There is also a call for murals under the overpass in Mansfield,  MA.

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A Million Little Pictures

Is an idea that came out of The Sketchbook Project, which has already passed the deadline in which to become involved (November 15th 2010). It’s a program where anyone can sign up to receive a sketchbook, where they sketch daily for a certain time period and then submit their drawings to be a part of a traveling art show. The exhibit starts touring in Brooklyn on February 19 and then continues around the country into the summer. This is a similar idea to Urban Sketchers but it is open to all and features and exhibition more than a community.

The Sketchbook_Project as seen on Art Is Everywhere

A Million Little Pictures is the same premise by the same organizers but instead uses photos from a disposable camera, which is sent upon signing up. Pictures are taken daily and then submitted. Anyone can enter and everyone is guaranteed at least one submission in a traveling photo exhibit. Act fast, as the deadline is March 31st and then the Photomobile exhibition starts traveling in the fall! I’ve added these two links to my blogroll, in case you want to check back on their sites for updates.

A Million Little Pictures as seen on Art Is Everywhere

A few more artistic opportunities, include Brooklyn Art Project is open to all artists of all nationalities to download and color this graphic below (at their link provided). Fold it and take creative pictures with it. Submission deadline is May 5, 2011. The most creative 100 selected by the staff will be published on a website.

Brooklyn-Art-Project, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Finally, submissions for the Cleveland Arts Prize have already passed in December but stay tuned for their announcement of the four winners, who will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 each for their submissions in either: literature, visual arts, design, and music and dance. The awards gala is Tuesday, June 28th at The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Cleveland Arts Project as seen on Art is Everywhere

The Public Art Network is also a resourceful place to check for ongoing public art opportunities.

Public-Arts-Network, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

For a little different type of music to Kick-Start you Weekend, here’s some interactive music by Play the Music at the G-Shock event in Madrid in September 2010. If you view all their videos, you’ll see that they are all interactively made with light from a flashlight pointing on selected images to creat the music.

G-Shock_Building Music by Play the Music, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

G-Shock by Play the Music. Links to video

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Painting Winter Woods

If you’re stuck inside, with all this winter snow, this step-by-step process of how to paint snow in the winter woods is a great instructional exercise to pass the time using pastel painting with watercolors. I’ve never used the two together and this was highly informative — particularly for achieving that translucent hue of snow. How do you paint white with color? It’s perplexing but Christine Kane on Art Instruction Blog makes it look easy. See how she goes from this reference photo to her final painting.

ChristineKane_deep_snow1b on Art Is Everywhere

Christine Kane Reference Photos via Art Blog Instruction

Christine_Kane_snow-underdrawing on Art Is Everywhere

Christine Kane snow underdrawing

Christine_Kane_final_snow-painting on Art is Everywhere

Christine Kane final snow painting

One Tree Hill by U2 seems a good way to Kick Start the weekend early and in hopes that 2011 gets off to a good start.

Here’s something to start off your new year — an announcement from the Colorado Creative Industries for artists to submit ideas for a public art project for the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver, Colorado. The budget is 1.6 million and the deadline is January 20, 2011. Click this link to get more info and to get started brainstorming.

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Fall 2010 Art & Exhibit Roundup

It will be hard to remember amidst all the upcoming holiday activities but here is the latest roundup of exhibitions to keep your eye on and hopefully attend this fall. These are just three that I’ve parceled out from an ongoing list previously mentioned (still time to catch a couple through Jan 2).

1) Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey — National Building Museum until January 9

  • Featuring many of Palladio’s drawings and pairing them with American examples that used the style of his architecture, like The White House, for instance. In fact there so much of his Classical ideas pervade the great buildings of American Architecture that it’s easy to forget the origin. Thomas Jefferson, among many forward thinkers and builders during his time, brought Palladio’s influence to University of Virginia and Monticello
  • Andrea Palladio’s Influential Architecture, Washington Post article for further explanation
  • I’ve been stuck on Palladio ever since I learned about his work in Art History classes and then was able to tour the actual Italian Villas in the Veneto with my husband during our honeymoon. This exhibit will have special significance to me.

Palladio-Drawings_AIE, via Washington Post, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

2) Artisphere on Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn, VA — new arts venue with ongoing events.

  • One stop shop for theater, visual arts media, cultural center, and music

AIE_Artisphere on Art Is Everywhere

3) Oklahoma at the newly restructured Arena Stage — Ist play since the new construction playing through December 26.

  • I’m not a big musical fan but this play is one of my favorites. I learned all the songs when I first saw it as a young girl and it still makes me happy. The production is not your usual take on Oklahoma, however, since there is a mixed cultural cast, which might surprise your expectations if you didn’t know in advance. Nothing wrong with mixing it up a bit but this is a classic musical. Some things, like the Wizard of Oz for instance do not well when they are not changed. I’m sure the actors’ talent will make it interesting to see as will the Frichlander Theater in the round.
  • I cannot wait to see this newly constructed venue. I received some of my first experience in decorative painting when I worked as an intern on the set design at the Arena Stage’s Main Avenue location. This is bigger and better and there are three stages included in the Meade Center for American Theater. It’s the largest performance venue in DC since The Kennedy Center. It officially opens to the public on October 23…mark your calendars and click here to plan your visit.
  • Finally, my son Piers’ employer this summer, Clark Construction, built this theater and he’s already been inside. Lucky duck. He said it was pretty breathtaking.
  • The Post did a really great interactive and comprehensive online article on the Arena here.
Arena-Stage_WP, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Arena Stage Overview. Credit Wilson Andrews and Alberto Cuadra / The Washington Post

Here are some pictures for your visual interest but be sure to go to their website and photo tour to view more.

Arena-Stage as seen on Art is Everywhere

Arena-stage-inside, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Arena-snowmaggeddon2010_AIE, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

4) Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at the National Museum of Natural History, through April 24, 2011

  • It’s hard to believe that his coral reef is crocheted out of yarn. I’ll have to go see it myself. What an unusual thing, combining soft sculpture, marine biology and mathematical science.
  • Be sure to view the TED lecture by Margaret Wertheim at this link and learn about how she and her sister Christine, with many help of others filled a 3,000 space with crocheted reef creations as tall as five feet. Interestingly enough, the only way to model such real sea creatures and their hyperbolic geometry and amorphous is with crochet, surprisingly. She describes the math correlation very well and I found it pretty fascinating. See for yourself.

Crochet Coral Reef via National Museum of Natural History, seen on Art Is Everywhere

If you’re into Techno and I’m usually not, then you’ll like this choice. I can actually deal with this mix, Hold On with Amber Coffman, but I chose it for the performance. It’s pretty amazing what a following this DJ, Rusko has, coming to America out of UK to a music hall near you. He’ll be in DC on Oct. 24th. It’s a good song to Kick-Start the Weekend, starting early this week. This regular post is moving to Thursdays.

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