Born in Syria and raised in Saudi Arabia, artist and architect Mohamad Hafez has a strong tie to the Middle East and a desire to show the rest of the world the horrors of the political struggle in many Middle Eastern countries.
Halloween is one of the most popular days of the year – when revelers dress up in clever costumes and gorge themselves on candy and delicious fall treats. It is not just another modern holiday, however. It can be traced back over 2,000 years to a supernatural Celtic festival called “Samhain.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Backyard landscapes vary wildly by homeowners’ taste and style, but one Austin yard stands out as the most unique of all. The aptly named “Cathedral of Junk” towers over the home of folk artist Vince Hannemann, boasting over 60 tons of accumulated trash.
Catherine Ovejas and her boyfriend, Jose Rivera, were looking for a business opportunity that was different from the usual restaurant, bar, or retail scene. As a marketing director, Ovejas understands the importance of the human connection, so she set out to build an experience-based business. The result is Apt84 – a remodeled, repainted, repurposed school bus that serves as a tiny mobile house for parties, reunions, and weekend road trippers in New York.