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Early last week, a few artists painted murals on the walls of a warehouse around a vacant lot in Charleston, South Carolina, preparing for a celebration intended to fill the neglected space with sunlight, art and joy.
Reeling from shock and sorrow, leaders of the community arts nonprofit organizing the event had to decide whether to cancel festivities planned for the solstice. It was a clear choice, Enough Pie executive director Cathryn Zommer told The Huffington Post.
“We felt that more than ever, the community needed to come together,” Zommer said. They added a vigil with candle lighting, songs and prayer. Artists made changes to their pieces. On Saturday, people gathered for an experience that mixed joy with sorrow, surrounded by art.
A photo posted by Tiffany Hoard (@skipbreakfastattiffanys) on
“People use creativity to make sense of all of this. They use the arts to express these deep emotions of sorrow and pain and loss,” Zommer said. “The arts can do that. They can help us heal.”
From designers and dancers in Charleston’s tight-knit creative community to musicians who live hundreds of miles away, artists have addressed the killings. Their work, below, shows how art helps us survive and strengthen amid tragedy.
Artists used their craft to honor victims, and to grieve.
Jia Sung, a recent graduate of Rhode Island Institute of Design, said painting watercolors of each victim was her way of mourning.
It is primarily a process of grieving, trying to externalize the hurt. I didn’t know what else to do, really. Taking the time to do those portraits, and spend those moments of intimacy with each person was my own laying flowers. It was my own small gesture of tenderness in the face of violence.
They illustrated the muddied pain that follows tragedy, in the flood of grief, anger and glimmers of hope.
Jake Reeves and Evan Lockhart/HuffPost
HuffPost created this artistic take to remind Charleston and beyond that #BlackLivesMatter.
Their work helped spread the victims’ names and stories far and wide.
Scott “Panhandle Slim” Stanton has painted each of the nine victims, sharing snippets of their rich lives.
I started this series with Rev. Sen. Clementa Pinckney and ended with Ethel Lance. One preached the word from the pulpit of Emanuel AME church and he worked hard to keep his congregation’s soul clean. One worked in the Emanuel AME and she worked hard to keep the entire sanctuary clean and she preached the word too. What an amazing group of people these 9 people are.
Painter Mario Robinson is represented by a Charleston gallery and visits the city often. In 2010, he painted “Sixteen Broad Street,” a portrait of a boy he met in Charleston.
I told him I’d buy a rose if he would be kind enough to pose for a quick sketch. He agreed and after a few minutes, his eyes began to wander as potential patrons walked by us. I realized that he was counting the sales he was losing by posing for me. I reluctantly aborted the sketch and opted for a photograph. His demeanor sums up the entire experience. When I look at this portrait today, I wonder what his life is like as a young man. We are living in tumultuous times and there’s no guarantee that he will be treated as a harmless preteen, in search of a few extra dollars.
Before 7-year-old Madeleine made this drawing, she kept asking her mother questions, WCIV reported. “Why is the world full of broken people?” asked the girl, who lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Art gives solace to those who need it because they are old enough to understand.
In Kris Manning’s “Our Unified Heart,” a bunch of nondescript white umbrellas become a silvery, sunlit heart. Manning created her public sculpture at the Unity Music and Arts festival, which she organized last weekend to support her music education nonprofit. They instead will donate funds to the victims’ fund.
“When the tears of our community are falling, we unite and together we create shelter from the storm with love,” Manning said.
Some illustrated the history of hatred that fed the killings.
Charleston artist Mark Avery’s illustration of protesters in Marion Square was infused with his city’s legacy of racial oppression.
Last night as I walked with my black brothers and sisters, we took over the streets that our ancestors built. Rattling the houses that our people built, our voices spoke power on the forever, “Holy City.” Activists from around the country came together at Marion Square to get our black people to unify and stand up for the black community in Charleston, and spoke nothing but facts about the psychological and systematic downfall of black people not only in Charleston, but around the nation. We are tired of forgiving these animals that kill our brothers, sisters, uncles, grandmas, aunts, grandpas, and even children. Here in Charleston, black people are the roots of the roots, so tell me who is, has, and still to the day, “taking over our land”? We need to really wake up and recondition our daily lives, until we do, our people will continue to perish on the land that we built, from the ground up.
Others took a closer look at the historic church, where the killings occurred.
South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth wrote “Holy City” for Charleston’s Post and Courier. She reads it in a video for the BBC: “As bells in the spires call across the wounded Charleston sky, we close our eyes and listen to the same stillness ringing in our hearts, holding on to one another, like brothers, like sisters, because we know that wherever there is love, there is God.”
A dance performance demonstrates emotion, strength and collaboration.
The night Craig Evans found out about the shooting, he couldn’t sleep. Feeling helpless, he created the “Charlestrong” image, posted it to social media and finally went to bed. He woke up to an onslaught of messages.
I have been contacted by so many people saying how much they loved it and even thanking me for capturing a certain sentiment. The craziest moment was when I received an email from one of the track teammates of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (one of the victims) telling me how much it meant to her and said it had touched her. That blew me away and made me happy beyond belief. I truly can’t believe my little design had such a huge impact on people.
When Charleston designer Buff Ross saw that his image had begun to spread on Facebook, he made a poster-sized version that included a link to donate to the victims and the church, free for anyone to use.
Our streets here famously flood as our alluvial geographic nature continually pulls us back into the swampy miasma of our history. The flooding is something we all share and contend with here in Charleston. However on this brutally hot and dry morning the city felt flooded with tears. At least that was how I processed it and envisioned the image. … I truly believe that one of the unintended but beautiful consequences of social media is its power for collective grieving.
Others around the country called for change with songs and symbols.
Milwaukee musician Peter Mulvey wrote a song pleading for South Carolina to remove its Confederate flag and asked friends to make their own version. Dozens have since recorded it, including Ani DeFranco, who pays tribute to victim Tywanza Sanders.
Many local artists, struggling with the same grief as fellow Charleston residents, are making work specifically for their city.
Charleston artist Tim Hussey’s mural-turned-memorial is vibrant and colorful, but intended to address “hidden class and race struggle in the city.”
“We all know there is a huge gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ here, but have no idea how to address it without having to move out of our comfort zone and leave the ‘celebration’ of everyday Charleston,” Hussey said. “Well, it’s not a celebration for everyone.”
After the killings, Hussey added the silhouette of a man with nine tears to the piece, entitled “Oh No Not Us.” He collaged notes from a nearby church’s old ledger to emphasize “the personal and humanness of this tragedy.”
Musicians and artists are using their work to inspire generosity in others.
A photo posted by Christine Pettigrew (@pettigrew4fun) on
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Artistic offerings are just one way Charleston has rejected the hate that spurred a man to kill nine churchgoers who had been kind to him.
The actions of many in Charleston echo the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s call in April to “resurrect and revive love, compassion and tenderness.” Pinckney was among those slain.
Enough Pie’s Zommer knew Pinckney through the interfaith group Contemplative Alliance. She choked up as she called Pinckney a “sacred activist of the highest order.”
“We’re trying to move forward with the recognition that love is really what does unite us, and we find that creativity is an incredible way of showing love for this world and for life,” Zommer said. “Reverend Pinckney says it best when he says, ‘Only love can conquer hate.'”
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Are you looking for that little je ne sais quois to spruce up your winter wardrobe? How about taking a hint from your middle school biology class and incorporating some bacterial colonies into your look?
But truly, this project is incredible. Experimental bio-design firm Studio Natsai Audrey has crafted a line of silk scarves, mixing principles of biology, craft and design, and offering a potential solution to the rampant pollution in the textile industry. It’s called “The Fold” and is the brainchild of studio founder Natsai Audrey Chieza.
“Can biological systems co-author with design and craft to generate new technologies that offer a sustainable material paradigm?” This was the challenge Chieza set out to solve as she combined art, science and style in a radical new way. She began by folding each scarf in an origami-like pattern until it fits inside a petri dish, then introducing a non-pathogenic bacteria called Streptomyces to produce the pigment.
The scarves are just the beginning. Chieza hopes to eventually create a whole collection of garments, each documenting the life cycle of a different bacterial colony. The innovative idea will hopefully bring us one step closer to a future bio-revolution, in which design and science work hand-in-hand to yield environmentally friendly (and oh-so beautiful) results. Basically, bacteria is all the rage this season.
Israeli mashup master and music producer Kutiman is back with an incredible new video entitled “GIVE IT UP.”
Kutiman, whose real name is Ophir Kutiel, has layered and edited together several YouTube video recordings from different amateur musicians to create an entirely new song that’s both groovy and awe-inspiring. The mashup takes parts of a 6-year-old girl’s improvised piano piece in the key of G minor, combines them with another woman’s stunning, silky vocals, and mixes in trombone, saxophone, drums, bass, violin, synth, cello, bassoon and guitar.
The result is a perfect blend of jazz, soul, classical, rock and jam band.
“GIVE IT UP” is a tease for Kutiman’s upcoming album “Thru-You Too,” out on Oct. 1. The album follows up on his highly acclaimed 2009 project Thru-You, a similar collage of sonic odds and ends that Time magazine included in its list of the year’s 50 best inventions.
To see more of Kutiman’s mashups, check out his YouTube page and watch “GIVE IT UP” above.
The colors. The passion. The pageantry. The goals.
There’s nothing like the FIFA World Cup, and these are the dramatic images that prove no other sporting event has this kind of impact. Some of the world’s best news photographers have descended upon Brazil alongside the world’s best soccer players, and their work has captured just how big, how magical — and how controversial — this year’s tournament has become already.
Check out these incredible scenes from across Brazil and around the world as the World Cup gets underway, from the good, to the bad, to the protests: Arts – The Huffington Post
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“Everything looks better in black and white,” Paul Simon once mused. The music legend had a point — life tends to look better through a monochromatic filter, one that subtly hides the world’s flaws and accentuates its beauty. The many shades of gray can turn even the most mundane of memories into stunning portraits, making a simple Sunday in the park look like a still from a retro film set.
Such is the case, we learned, with music festival photography of yore. Dive into the photographic archives of Woodstock and Newport Jazz Festival, and you’ll find image after image of ecstatic fandom frozen in time. From men in suits fawning over bands of the 1960s to hippies in headgear losing their minds to jam bands in the 1970s, the layers of black and white film transform what might have been a crowded, odorous weekend of debauchery and heat exhaustion into an Eden-like experience.
In honor of the ceremonial ushering in of summer known as Memorial Day Weekend, we’ve compiled a selection of our favorite vintage music snapshots in a photographic history of summer festivals. We started with black and white and made our way to the colored and more contemporary, proving photography has a timeless place in our visual and audio history. Go ahead, ogle these photos and remember why you do love music festivals.
1956 — Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
(Photo by Paul Hoeffler/Redferns)
(Photo by Paul Hoeffler/Redferns)
1958 — Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
1964 — Newport Folk Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
Bob Dylan and Joan Baez (Photo by Douglas R. Gilbert/Redferns)
Pete Seeger and Willie Dixon (Photo by Gai Terrell/Redferns)
1967 — Monterey International Pop Music Festival (Monterey, California)
Jimi Hendrix (Photo by Ed Caraeff/Getty Images)
Ravi Shankar (Photo by Don Nelson/Fotos International/Getty Images)
1969 — Woodstock (Bethel, New York)
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul DeMaria/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
1970 — Newport Folk Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
(Photo by Gai Terrell/Redferns)
1977 — Newport Folk Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
Blood Sweat and Tears (Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
1989 — New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Rita Coolidge (AP Photo/Judi Bottoni)
1993 — Lollapalooza (New Jersey)
(Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)
1993 — Lollapalooza (Vancouver, Canada)
(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
1994 — Woodstock (Saugerties, New York)
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
1994 — Lollapalooza (Randall’s Island, New York)
(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
1995 — New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, Louisiana)
(AP Photo/Burt Steel)
1998 — Lilith Fair (Mountain View, California)
Eykah Badu (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect)
(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
2007 — Rock the Bells (Randall’s Island, New York)
(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
2007 — Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas, Nevada)
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
2010 — Lilith Fair (Tinley Park, Illinois)
Nancy Wilson of the band Heart. (Photo by David Bergman/Getty Images)
2011 — Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas, Nevada)
(Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
2012 — Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee)
(Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic)
2012 — Coachella (Indio, California)
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)
Singer Pelle Almqvist of The Hives. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)
2013 — Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee)
Solange performs at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
Mothers are incredible. They do so much for their children. As if bringing them into this world wasn’t enough, they also love them, feed them, clean them and make sure they survive to adulthood. And it’s not just human mothers who dedicate themselves to their young. Here is a tribute to non-human mothers and all that they do!
Animal moms come in all shapes and sizes … and species. And they love their babies, despite any, er, apparent differences.
In the end, even cats and dogs know that our differences are only skin, or fur, deep, and a mother’s love overcomes all obstacles. Take Coco and Hope, for example. Hope, a Shih Tzu puppy, was rejected by her mother, but thankfully, a Siamese cat named Coco was willing to adopt the little dog. Read more about Hope and Coco here.
Mothers are there for their little ones from the first moment they open their eyes, just ask this polar bear mom. Read the full story here.
Let’s face it, moms put up with a lot. Thankfully, they endure rambunctious little ones with grace and patientce. Like this mom whose cubs can’t seem to give her a moment’s peace. Read more about the fuzzy family here.
And, most importantly, we know that moms will do anything to protect their young. Take, Bella, the mama horse who literally stood between her baby, Butterscotch, and the flames and falling debris of the burning barn they were trapped in. It’s an incredible story, but then again, are we really surprised? Moms are AMAZING. Read their full story here.
Plus, check out this bonus video about the top 10 moms in the animal kingdom, and read the full story here.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there, human or otherwise!
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