I am currently taking a processing and data visualization course! I am very excited about this endeavor; it is something I’ve been interested in learning for a while, but have not been certain where to get started.
For my first project, I was assigned to take a physical design that I have built in my design career, and create a new representation of it using basic geometric shapes in Processing. Visual stylistic choices should focus on the spirit and emotion of the design, its users and uses.
To start, I got acquainted with the basics of code for Java, and figured out where to place all the pixel locations for each shape. I am still working on capturing the mood of the piece, which I intend to do through color. I hope to have a looped blinking light coming from the window. Perhaps I can even attach the song that it plays! Stay tuned for updates as soon as I figure it out!
Did you know that bees can see UV light? In fact, their perception of the world is quite different from ours. Where we see red, green and blue, bees see blue, green and ultraviolet. What does this mean? Not only do they have the evolutionary ability to fully enjoy a blacklight poster, bees use this sight to locate pollen on flowers. Invisible to our eye, every flower has intricate patterns forming electric UV runways that guide the bee directly to its nectar source!
I mention this because I have found a nifty artist who has played with this notion of UV vision to bring an audience of both people and pollinators to a riverside in Louisville, KY. In order to create a space where people can interact with and return to nature, she first had to entice pollinators to stay! She created an art installation in which she planted milkweed, a great source of nectar for many pollinators and the only plant on which Monarch butterflies will lay their eggs. Each display is encased in purple yarn, representing the UV runways the bees follow to their food source. She also included blacklights as aid for the human eye to visualize the scene from the pollinator’s view.
This installation is just one of many inspiring, beautiful and different ways she has used art as a platform for environmental activism. In addition to her works, she has created a great resource for artists called the OPPfund, or some of you may know it as Other People’s Pixels, a website that hosts artist portfolios and uses their monthly fees to create grants that are givento arts, environmental and social justice organizations. To top all of her great accomplishments off, she has just been invited to first artist-in-residency at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental law and policy non-profit focused on conservation.
I have had the great pleasure of designing flyers and collaborating with folks at the Random Tea Room, a fantastic tea and herbals store here in Philadelphia. I will be working with them to co-curate an art show in January that addresses the backwards nature of consumer culture, medicine, health and environmental politics. To me, I find this event to be perfect timing considering the recent revelations being exposed about the TPP. Anyone interested in submitting work, please do!
Other approaching events at the Tea Room include a new series of herbal workshops taught by Alyssa Schimmel!
I just finished some awesome logo and labelling work for Alyssa Schimmel of Velvet Earth Herbs! I had so much fun with this project!
Alyssa is a talented herbalist who is starting her own line of tea blends, tinctures, salves and tonics. Be sure to look out for her and her classes atHydroPose Studio and the Random Tea Room in Philadelphia.
Art Nouveau and old apothecary labels played a large part in the inspiration of this design. I illustrated Alyssa’s favorite herbs for the main logo – Dandelion, Yarrow, Mugwort, Elder and Corn Poppies – working the foliage into a circular shape that starts small and builds up to form a powerful wave. The stages of the moon, significant to Alyssa’s herbal methods and teachings, radiate outward from the the logo along the band that will be used to hold the tea tins shut. I can’t wait to see this on the final product!
Last winter, I collaborated with members from my print studio at BYO Print to put together an installation at The Art Dept. in Philadelphia. We wanted to make a work of art that would invite our visitors to explore, let go for a while and have fun. What better way to do so than build a “grown up” version of a blanket fort!
We created the skeleton/supporting frame of our fort entirely out of used printmaking materials such as rollers, tools, drying racks, and found furniture items. Each member contributed old, unused, or misprinted work, which was then collaged and silkscreened onto the frame and pieces of fabric for the roof.
Our fort included a comfortable reading area with artist zines and comics, fluffy pillows covered in prints, and a secret spy area equipped with crayons and a coloring book made by the members of BYO Print. The cozy ambience inside was topped off with the melodic bio-rhythms of a large fern, made audible by Sam Cusumano at ElectricityforProgress.com – check it out!
In the gallery space outside the fort was a showing of recent prints from the BYO collective. It was a lot of work, but was a very rewarding collaborative experience with a great turnout!