The Art of Album Covers

Back in the day, when I was active in my local art league, I had an idea to put on an art show comprised of album covers. I had a large enough supply of album covers that I could have supplied a nice sized show on my own.

I’m pretty sure the league would have let me put on such a show despite the issue that album cover art is much more graphic art than fine art. In the end, I never got up the courage to ask. Reading about this cover art show at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum makes me wish I had.

The Fine Art of Rock” show is running until November; so if you are anywhere near Memphis I recommend checking it out. Btw – Memphis is great vacation stop if you haven’t been there before.



Good Luck and Wishes Recycling Station

Every three years, the arts charity, Creative Foundation holds a public art festival called the Folkestone Triennial. The event is held in Folkestone; which is a seaside town on the south-east coast of England. The theme of the project is that artists are invited to use the town as their ‘canvas’. Sounds like fun, I don’t imagine there are many places bold enough to let artists loose in their public spaces.

One of the installations that caught my attention is a collaboration between a 3D printer manufacturer Renishaw and an outdoor art group called Strange Cargo. The creative and fun result of their joint effort is the installation of a luck and wish recycling point. Their piece incorporates various lucky symbols: horse shoes, wishbones, 4 leaf clovers, shooting stars, etc. The concept is that visitors insert a penny, make a wish and then take a different penny to spread the good luck.

They decided to title the piece ‘The Luckiest Place on Earth’. I’m very impressed that they printed the piece in titanium.


An Underwater Museum

Learning how to dive is one of those activities I wish I had made time to pursue. In addition to being able to be up close with amazing aquatic wildlife, swimming through old shipwrecks  always sounded like a lot of fun.

Now, imagine being able to swim through interesting works of art as well. Referring to Jason deCaires Taylor’s seabed sculptures as a museum may be a bit of a stretch but I bet it is a blast for divers.

Do you think it would be even more of an adventure if you have no hint about what the works are; before your dive?


3D Printing Garden Designs

The Strand Gallery, in London, is holding an exhibition of 3D printed garden designs. You should check out the amount of detail that 3D printing can provide in reproducing the trees.

I used to have a friend that built miniature landscapes for military simulators (back in the pre-digital days), that were impressive and I assume quite expensive. The 3D printed garden models look to have even more detail and I’m guessing can be created for less money than the old school handcrafted models.

Check out the source item, as it was able to embed the Telegraph video promo of the show; which I was unable to get to work.


Marilyn Monroe is Moving to Hamilton, NJ

Grounds for Sculpture is getting a new statue. Moving from Palm Springs, to her new home in New Jersey, is “Forever Marilyn” a 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound statue based on the 1955 movie “The Seven-Year Itch”.

Not really sure what is going on with the fire hose in this picture. Having spent some time in the Palm Springs area (29 Palms to be exact) I’m guessing that the statue can get pretty dusty after a while.

The Monroe sculpture is part of a series that sculptor Seward Johnson created called “Icon Revisited”. Some other pieces in the series are a sculpture based on the famous picture of a WWII vet kissing a nurse when the end of the war in Europe was announced and a sculpture he did based on the famous Grant Wood painting “American Gothic”.

Recreating popular icons in three dimensions is sure to be popular with the general public. The concentration of so many kinds of sculpture at Grounds for Sculpture makes it a very cool place to visit. Hopefully adding “Forever Marilyn,” to their collection, will bring them lots of new visitors.

Another thing I learned from this news item is that some of the sculptures at Grounds for Sculpture are replicas. I’m assuming that helps lower their acquisition costs and replicas certainly can widen an artists exposure. I guess I’ll have to visit Grounds for Sculpture again to see how transparent they are about the reproductions; I don’t remember them highlighting which pieces are replicas when I was there the first time.


Mr. Johnson’s web site:

Woodmere Art Museum to Upgrade Landscape

No, they are not looking for higher quality landscape paintings. Well maybe they are but that would be a different story. What they are planning to do is spruce up their grounds. The interesting thing, to me, is that they are looking to add more outdoor sculpture.

The most visual of the proposed improvements would be a “world-class destination” sculpture garden. The garden would include a redesign of the pedestrian access with walking paths, lighting, signage and patron seating. “The idea here is that it would be more inviting and pleasing and really make it something that grabs people’s eyes,” noted Pamela Loos, the museum’s director of foundation and government relations.

The item mentions that they plan to use a large copper and bronze fountain, designed by Harry Bertoia, as a focal point for the sculpture garden. That sounds very nice, as Mr. Bertoia has done some very interesting public installations. The fountain used to be installed at the Philadelphia Civic Center; which was torn down in 2000. The weird part is that since then, the fountain has been stored in the Philadelphia police barracks. How did that come about? I’m guessing that it is quite safe there. Makes you wonder what other odds and ends they have tucked away, in the nooks and crannies, of Philadelphia’s government real estate.

Typical of a lot of news items about art, they didn’t include any pictures of the fountain. The news item referred to the fountain as “Waves”; which is incorrect. That made searching for pictures a little harder than it had to be. The actual title of the piece is “Free Interpretation of Plant Forms“, installed in 1967. Did some digging and found this:


Harry Bertoia’s web site:

BTW – Christopher William Purdom has put together a great compilation of Philadelphia public art; check it out:

LEGO® Sculptures in the Garden – Naples, Florida

Here’s a fun concept for a traveling exhibit – twenty-seven sculptures built with LEGO bricks placed through out the garden.

From an American bumblebee, a garden worker and a hummingbird to a fox and rabbit, bison and lily pads, the sculptures range in size from six inches to almost eight feet.  The exhibit highlights and promotes the importance of ecosystems and how all living things are connected.


Smithsonian Artifacts You Can 3D Print At Home

An item at Mental Floss pointed me to a beta project that the Smithsonian is running. The project is called X 3D. It includes a browser based 3D viewer and more interestingly the ability to download models of objects that have been scanned and uploaded by the institution.

They haven’t loaded very many objects yet. The Killer While Hat caught my eye. While all the objects are pretty neat, I would think that the Wooly Mammoth Skeleton and Abraham Lincoln’s Life Masks would get a lot of attention.

I have always thought that creating some chain mail would be an interesting 3D project. Can you imagine being able to print 3D armour from the Smithsonian? I’m waiting for them to upload some cool swords….


X 3D site:

Organizing an Outdoor Sculpture Trail in East London

I blogged earlier about the idea to create opportunities for commuters to enjoy art while commuting. It turns out that a group of artists in London are actively raising funds for a similar type of project.

In the Evening Standard they refer to the project as “the Line of Beauty”; I’m not sure if that is the official name or not. I think they chose that name because the riverside trail they are looking to utilize, as the location for the sculptures, runs along the Greenwich meridian.

The project is attempting to leverage the fact that all museums and many private collections have a great deal of art that is not on display. It remains to be seen how much of that art in storage is suitable for an outdoor exhibition. A key question, for these types of projects is how do you protect the artworks. They don’t give many details in the news item but they do have this to say on security:

Aren’t artists or collectors nervous about donating? Although the works will be insured, floodlit and under constant, monitored CCTV surveillance, they will still be vulnerable to those who want to climb or scrawl on them. “In the end, if you feared graffiti no one would put anything anywhere,” he says. “And artists want their works to be seen.”

The Line sounds like a cool project; I wish them the best of luck. Here’s a summary of the project from Mark Wallinger:

Wallinger talks about the experience of walking through a beautiful, little-known part of London, adorned with fabulous shapes. “I can’t emphasise enough that it’s a different perspective. It’s like seeing London afresh. And there is something about those waterway routes that feels like an exciting discovery. It’s not like tramping along known roads. It is a more mysterious and exciting way of knowing your city.”


Philadelphia Sculpture Gym

This could be  interesting, the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, sounds a bit like a maker space for sculpture. Unfortunately for me it is located in Fishtown; which isn’t very convenient to my location.

Checking out their list of classes, nothing looks like it suits my purposes. Hopefully they will do well and are an indicator of just how strong sculpture is in the Philly region. I’ll have to keep an eye on them.


Grounds For Sculpture

One of the first places I visited, as a way to expose myself to the current world of sculpture, was the Grounds For Sculpture. The concentration of so many interesting pieces on one place was very stimulating. If you are ever in the Trenton, New Jersey area be sure and check it out.

Really love this idea of a sculpture garden (but the real estate and insurance costs are likely too high for me to create one; very tempting though). Imagine an outdoor garden attraction featuring scheduled/temporarily outdoor sculpture exhibitions connected to a food/music/gallery space (would adding a day spa be going too far)…

Their web site:

Here’s one of the shots I took while there; from inside one of the buildings looking out:

Not only is the art work very cool, so are the grounds: