When people think of jack-o’-lanterns, they usually think of bright orange pumpkins, lit by candles that shine out of cleverly carved faces. It may come as a surprise that the term “jack-o’-lantern” was first used to describe people.
Activist and artist Cindy Weil wanted to publicly commemorate the profound contributions of immigrants to the creation of American culture. She founded the Immigrant Yarn Project (IYP), a community public art collaboration and one of the largest works of yarn-based art in the country, in 2017 to serve as a beautiful metaphor depicting the collective immigrant experience.
Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a multi-day celebration of all five senses. Contrary to the somber tone that its name implies, the holiday is treasured in Mexican culture as an opportunity to honor the dead while celebrating the joy of life.
When most people think of “luxury,” the ice caps of the Arctic do not immediately come to mind. Luxury Action is changing that – one heated igloo at a time. For one month each year, they set up ten heated glass huts, with floor-to-ceiling views of the North Pole’s starry skies.
At the fork of the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers in Kenova, West Virginia, former mayor Ric Griffith and his small army of volunteers spend three weeks every year designing, scooping and carving 3,000 pumpkins. After the carving is done, the volunteers decorate the front of Griffith’s Beech Street house and yard with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
Before the 19th century, most prisons were filthy, corrupt, and disorderly. They offered lawbreakers little chance to reflect and “repent” of their wrongdoings since prisoners were too busy trying to avoid disease, starvation, and abuse. The Eastern State Penitentiary, located in the residential Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, was designed to remedy the ills of the prison system and offer inmates a chance to be “penitent” for their crimes.
For centuries, the Kulung people in eastern Nepal have harvested the honey from the Himalayan honey bees. Not a remarkable feat, except for the fact the harvesters must scale the sheer cliffs of the Himalayas – hundreds of feet or more – to reach the hives.
In 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the topic of every news broadcast and the headline in every newspaper. Americans lived in fear of a potential missile strike. Even John F. Kennedy, the then-President of the United States, fell prey to the constant worry of an attack. The POTUS decided to take action, creating an underground bunker in the Grand Canyon, Arizona with supplies and food for over 2,000 people to live in (relative) comfort for at least a month.
Some 440 women in Turkey were murdered by their partners in 2018 alone. Turkish artist Vahit Tuna decided to create a visually startling installation to raise public awareness of the horrors of domestic violence.
Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone wants to promote the “creative expression of human presence in the desert.” His large-scale public art installation, titled “Seven Magic Mountains,” does that and more. It is a towering display of seven, colorful towers that soar above the landscape, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.