High above the bustle and noise of Times Square, piano keys tinkled as guests of the Sing For Hope Pianos Launch Party admired the 88 new painted pianos that the organization will be scattering throughout public places in the city’s five boroughs over the next two weeks. (The organization chose to debut 88 new pianos because there are 88 keys on a piano).
A nonprofit charity whose primary focus is making art “accessible to all,” Sing For Hope was founded in 2006 by best friends Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, two world-renowned sopranos who met while at Julliard; the idea behind the joint project was to provide a way to connect working artists to elementary schools in need, health resources, and the community at large. (more…)
Last week’s popular Google Keyword was “Slums of Paris.” Did you know there were even slums in Paris? We previously showed one such prominent informal settlement along the RER B train line from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to the center of Paris, visible to many visitors to Paris. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was notorious for his push to clear out slums and illegal residents (mostly Roma gypsy populations). Photographer Steven Wassenaar has been photographing the Parisian gypsy populations since 2005 and told us, “I have met many Roma that just go from campsite to campsite in Greater Paris. Sarkozys eviction policy was very limited, mostly a communication action and it did not change anything.”
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich. Untapped also previously reported on the ongoing urban renewal of Roma gypsy populations in Istanbul.
With Venice’s history as a hub of art and culture, most notably with the Beat Generation, it’s not surprising that street art is scattered throughout the neighborhood, both built into the façade of storefronts and hidden in back lots. (Jean-Michel Basquiat and Dennis Hopper both had studios in Venice.) In 2011, French artist JR put up pieces in Venice as part of his “Wrinkles of the City” series, which included 20 large-scale portraits of 20 ethnic Angelinos. You can still see a piece of one mural left here:
There’s a wide range of techniques as well, including wheat paste and chipped brick and plaster. Do you recognize other street artists in the slideshow below?
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.
The biennial festival, IDEAS CITY, hosted by The New Museum, aims to investigate the future of cities with the notion that the arts and culture play a vital role in the health of the urban core. The theme for this year’s festival was Untapped Capital (fittingly for us). Participants were called to explore the under-utilized or under-recognized resources and potential within cities.
Kim Holleman is one such artist. She has taken the often-scorned mobile trailer and created a park in its interior, turning the entire notion of “trailer park” on its head. Holleman’s ideas came from what she saw as a growing need to integrate nature into the urban environment and provide access to larger numbers of urban residents.
While experimental performance is typically thought to evoke a niche audience, its presence is more ubiquitous than you may think. Believe it or not, the experimental music scene is alive and well across the western region of the Netherlands; otherwise known as Holland. Not to be overlooked as a trendsetter in how music interacts with and enhances public space, it is apparent that this inventive genre is increasing accessibility to the arts in practice and performance. Moreover, the Netherlands has a lot to offer through experimental music to someone living on modest means.
The sound takes center stage during the Composing Spaces Symposium at KonCon
I’d been to the NYC 1993 exhibit at the New Museum a few weeks earlier, but this time my eyes were closed and a stranger was guiding me through the second floor. He described the installation in front of us and, based on his clues, I couldn’t think back to what it could be: “A domestic scene. A red room and a white room. There are family photographs on a table. They look like they could be from the 70s. There’s an American flag, broken dishes on the floor, an open can of Coke…” (more…)