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If you’re looking for a new craft, consider basket weaving. Basket-making kits make it easy to get started, offering all the supplies and instructions you need in one neat package. Many people find weaving baskets to be calming, and it helps children develop dexterity and learn new skills. The best part, of course, is the final product, be it a simple kids’ creation or an impressive piece of home decor. Ahead, find our favorite basket-weaving kits, including challenging options, beginner favorites, and a few in between.

Traditional Crafts Coiled Basket Kit, Pine Needle
Many indigenous peoples such as the Chocktaw have long used pine needles to create strong and lightweight baskets. This kit includes the pine needles, binding raffia, steel needle, and coiling gauge needed to weave Read the rest

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese. All images © Rosie Woods, shared with permission

As if lifted by a breeze, oversized ribbons and bunches of fabric float across the trompe l’oeil murals by London-based artist Rosie Woods. The gleaming, prismatic textiles sway and subtly twist into folds and ripples in the spray-painted works. Through the flowing movements, Woods explores the fluid, ever-changing nature of the human experience by synthesizing abstraction and realism. She explains:

I often wonder what my soul would look like if it manifested itself as an object I could see and touch on this earth.  My artwork today looks to express the depth, growth, and complexity of the mind as well as its ability to encompass both light and dark spaces emotionally. I’d like to think you can “feel” my artwork with your eyes.

Woods translates her massive, lustrous … Read the rest

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Watercolor pencils are like colored pencils, only their pigments are water soluble, which means they will spread like paint when you wet them. This is a really fun medium, but it can offer a slight learning curve as you get used to loading water and applying pressure. If you’re relatively new to watercolor pencils or are on a budget, we suggest you purchase a set geared toward students. Student-grade pencils won’t offer the incredible colors or longevity of their professional-grade counterparts, but they are still highly capable and encourage experimentation with techniques like creating washes, working wet-into-dry, or vice versa. Get started with one of our favorite student-grade watercolor pencil sets, reviewed below.

General Pencil Kimberly Watercolor Pencils
General’s pencils sit at the top of our list Read the rest

As we collectively count down the days until we can safely enjoy post-vaccination visits with friends and family, a delightful animation has a comforting message for those of us struggling to reign in our anxiety: “If this disruption undoes you, if the absence of people unravels you…lean into loneliness and know you’re not alone in it.”

A collaboration between poet Tanya Davis and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, “How to Be at Home” plucks some of the same scenarios from the duo’s wildly popular “How to Be Alone”—watch the 2010 film on YouTube and pick up the illustrated book from Bookshop—and translates them into quarantine terms fit for 2020: where benches and public transit once were spaces ripe for interaction, they’re now hazards to be avoided, and a lunch-time scroll through your phone is no longer a distraction but a welcome way to stay connected.

The animated scenes emerge from the … Read the rest

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Call it what you will—outsider art, folk art, visionary art, outlier art—but the artists associated with these overlapping and sometimes conflicting rubrics have two things in common: They are all visual autodidacts—self-taught, if you prefer—compelled for one reason or the next to create works of often astonishing impact. They also usually occupy a marginal place in society (sharecroppers, inmates, the developmentally disabled, self-proclaimed alien abductees, and so on). But this lack of education and fringe status are precisely the reasons why a certain aura has been conferred upon self-taught art as something unmediated by conventions, a direct expression of artistic insight free of cultural constraints. An overly romanticized bromide? Perhaps. But like all clichés, it possesses a kernel of truth that overrides whatever label you choose to use for … Read the rest

Perrier x Murakami collaboration at SHOWFIELDS NYC. All images © SHOWFIELDS, shared with permission

We recently sat down with SHOWFIELDS head curator Tam Gryn for a conversation about the unique blend of shopping, art, brand activations, and events that drive the innovative retail concept. With locations in New York City and Miami, the relatively new space already has generated fruitful collaborations between an impressive array of artists, companies, and organizations, including Perrier x Murakami, Tax Collection, Brooke DiDonato, Kenny Sharf, Ekaterina Popova, Filthy Luker, and the Whitney and Brooklyn museums.

Often working in response to cultural shifts and consumer demands, Gryn’s curatorial decisions are geared toward sustainability and collective movement. She explains:

As a curator, I try to find patterns in generational truths. What I see since last year is that our whole generation is screaming for healing at the top of their lungs: healing from this pandemic, healing medically,

Read the rest

Jeff Koons, the world’s most expensive living artist, has departed two major galleries that have long represented him and joined one of their competitors. In a surprise move, Koons will now be exclusively represented by Pace Gallery, which has permanent spaces in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Palo Alto, and Geneva. He will no longer show with David Zwirner or Gagosian. The New York Times first reported the news on Monday evening.

Koons is widely known for his sculptures riffing on consumer objects and “low” art. Often containing a profane edge, these high-gloss works can be monumental in scale and have been known to command high prices. Koons’s auction record, set by the sale of his 1986 Rabbit sculpture in 2019, sits at $91.1 million. He has been the subject of numerous surveys and retrospectives, including one held at the Whitney Museum in 2014 that went on to travel … Read the rest

Sato Masaharu, “I want to be a wolf” (2017), video (silent), loop, private collection. Image © Estate of Masaharu Sato

Reinterpreting distance in our coexistence with COVID-19, the Japan Foundation presents an online exhibition from March 30 to May 5. 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan features works by Japanese and Japan-based contemporary artists that are centered on the theme of translating distance. The exhibition aims to promote new artistic exchanges in this time of COVID-19, which has brought restrictions to our lives that are forcing us to be conscious of togetherness and separation.

Communication had been speeding up, and now a major turning point has arrived in how we interact. People are beginning to explore and build new relationships based on the assumption that they are apart. Instead of thinking of distance in purely physical terms, what words can we replace those distances with, or translate … Read the rest

For more than 50 years, Frank Bowling, who turned 86 this past February, has been making abstract paintings that not only push the medium in new directions but also fold in nuanced statements about colonialism, racism, and xenophobia. In the ’70s, Bowling was also known as a critic. For the April 1971 issue of ARTnews, he wrote “It’s Not Enough to Say ‘Black Is Beautiful,’” an essay that focused on the double standards to which black artists were regularly subjected. On the essay’s 50th anniversary, ARTnews enlisted Eric N. Mack, an artist in his mid-30s who works with abstraction, to look at the essay anew. “I feel like we should all feel lucky that Frank Bowling is still with us and showing, and not forgotten,” Mack said.

It is as though what is being said is that whatever black people do in the various areas labeled art is Art—hence Read the rest

“A Midsummer Afternoon Dream” (2020), oil on canvas, 106 x 101 x 2.5 inches. All images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth, shared with permission

Amy Sherald plumbs the multitudes of Black leisure in The Great American Fact, a series of arresting portraits that are currently on view at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. From a woman resting on a bicycle to two surfers readying for the water, the oil-based paintings observe moments of respite and pleasure at a monumental scale, sometimes spanning nearly nine feet across.

Although she surrounds her subjects with vivid patches of color and portrays them wearing bright garments, Sherald (previously) continues to render her subjects’ skin in her signature grayscale, which she’s described in recent years as a way to have the figures read “in a universal way, where they could become a part of the mainstream art historical narrative.” This new series also features … Read the rest