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Giant Halloween Sculptures in Architect’s Front Yard Get Better Every Year, From King Kong to an Egyptian Tomb

in Art 448 views
An enormous dragon perches it's head on the porch of the house in one of Tom Saltsman's Halloween installations. Massachusetts, USA. See SWNS story SWSMinstallation. Meet the dad who builds giant Halloween installations every year in his front yard - with some measuring more than six meters. Tom Saltsman, 60, has kept up with the tradition for the last eight years. So far he has built an enormous dragon on his roof, a spindly skeleton spirit, a spaceship and a moving rendition of King Kong.

A Massachusetts architect has been building epic Halloween installations every year in his front yard—becoming a local legend for his scary sculptures.

Tom Saltsman has kept up the tradition for the last eight years, after erecting an 80’s horror-themed piece for a party that so thrilled his friends and neighbors, he pledged to do it yearly.

His home in Marblehead has become the staging ground for an enormous dragon, an ethereal skeleton spirit, a spaceship, a pirate’s ghost ship, and a King Kong that moves his head and roars.

The 60-year-old spends up to two months ahead of the spooky season preparing the installations and recruits friends and family to complete them.

His most recent project in 2022, was a 22-foot-high Egyptian god, with his garage turned into an Egyptian tomb. His wife Brooke, who is also an architect, helped painted all the hieroglyphics along with three friends.

After scavenging scraps from his workplace, he can build most of the pieces for less than $200—with materials mostly being plywood, garbage bags and various types of foam. (See the video at the bottom…)

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Artist Creates Iconic Landscapes From Food–Then Donates to Hungry People

in Art/Food 338 views

An artist used organic food to create these iconic landscapes—and they do look good enough to eat, because they were.

Made entirely from fruits and vegetables, the four tasty ‘paintings’ feature some of the UK’s best loved scenes—from Stonehenge, to Avon Gorge, with its famous suspension bridge, to Giant’s Causeway.

Marking the end of the 2023 harvest season, the edible exhibits were created by Welsh-based artist Nathan Wyburn to replicate the beloved landscapes in mouthwatering detail—along with the help of the Yeo Valley Organic’s chef, Ali Pumfrey.

The delectable scenes, which also includes the Ribblehead Viaduct, utilized fresh organic produce like strawberries, beetroot, and kale, and took the artist 48 hours to create.

“I like to bring people closer to the natural world through my work and relished the opportunity to take up this unique challenge,” said Nathan Wyburn.

“I used to visit the Avon Gorge as a child and was always in awe of the amazing natural landscape, so it was a really fun process thinking about how I could bring that to life through local products.”

He used almost 150 pounds of food (67 kilograms), which also including soup, yogurt, and butter to bring the scenes to life.

The iconic bridge was crafted using a colorful kaleidoscope of berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, along with beetroot and broccoli, with added layers of texture from leeks and kale.

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24,000-Year-Old Cave Art Suddenly Found in Well-Known Paleolithic Cave Shelter in Spain

in Art 250 views

When you think of Spain, I’ll bet you probably picture bulls and bullfighters, rugged hills cloaked in olive trees, tapas bars, or the Alhambra, but I’ll bet you don’t picture cave paintings.

Actually, no country on Earth has more paleolithic cave art than Spain, and a new discovery merely adds to that position—110 paintings and engravings dating back 24,000 years.

They were found in a cave called Cueva Dones, a well-known site for adventurers, hikers, and spelunkers in Eastern Spain near Valencia. A 500-meter cave system that opens into a steep river gorge.

It wasn’t until 2021 that scientists from the universities of Zaragoza in Spain and Southampton in the UK, discovered rock art in three separate locations that seemed to depict extinct animals that would have roamed Paleolithic Europe.

“Although Spain is the country with the largest number of Paleolithic cave art sites, most of them are concentrated in northern Spain,” said Aitor Ruiz-Redondo, senior lecturer of prehistory at the University of Zaragoza. “Eastern Iberia is an area where few of these sites have been documented so far.”

Ruiz-Redondo and his co-authors in their paper describe the depictions of animals and shapes as the most important cave art site found in Eastern Spain because of the number, the variety of animals, and the diversity of motifs and artistic methods.

Horses, a red deer stag, seven hinds (female red deer), two auroch (an extinct wild bovine), and two indeterminate animals are depicted in both red clay finger paintings, and engravings.

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Newly Discovered Rock Art Panels Depict How Ancient Ancestors Envisioned Creation and Adapted to Change

in Enviroment 253 views

Australia’s vast wildernesses are famous for many things, but rock art, specifically one of the largest concentrations of rock art known in the world, isn’t typically one of them.

West Arnhem Land in the Queensland Peninsula hosts an incredible painted record of Man’s relation to his planet, its changes, challenges, and bounty, but a completely new rock art style covering 4,000 years of history shows Aboriginal Australians adapting to the transformation of Arnhem land into the lush riverine environment it is today.

The total collection of painted rock art in West Arnhem Land has been dated to a span of 30,000 years, stretching from just a few centuries ago to back within the last ice age. However, the period between 8,000 BCE and 4,000 BCE was seemingly absent from the variety of images painted onto the sandstone.

Now, the Bininj, Mawng, and Amurdak Aboriginal people teamed up with archaeologists led by Paul Tacon of Griffith University to finally isolate the works from this hidden period. They show a land in flux, where sea level rise meant the coasts retreated backward 150 feet per year, where mangrove forests came to dominate the near-shore landscape, and increased rainfall fed already swollen rivers.

Using the local Mawng People’s language, one of Tacon’s Bininj Aboriginal collaborators has dubbed the new rock art style the Maliwawa Style. After 8 years of field surveying and work, the team has documented 572 Maliwawa paintings and is ready to share their story with the world.

“It was really exciting to find previously undocumented shelters with lots of Maliwawa figures on walls and ceilings, sometimes in scenes,” Tacon told Archaeology Magazine, where a reader can read their feature piece on the topic. “When we saw these paintings for the first time, there was a rush of adrenaline, much excitement, cheering, and lots of shouts to each other.”

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Pair of Dirty Windows Purchased on Facebook Are Set to Sell for $200,000

in Art/Place 172 views

A pair of dirty windows bought on Facebook during a church demolition is set to sell for $225,000.

Antiques hunter Paul Brown from Pennsylvania paid around five grand for a bundle of various items from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia.

They included these stained glass windows which were discovered to be made by the noted company Tiffany Glass Studios, (1878 – 1933) founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Philadelphia-based auctioneers Freeman’s say the sale marks the first time a Tiffany Studios rose window has ever been offered at auction.

“This is such a rare and exciting market appearance,” said Tim Andreadis, Head of Freeman’s 20th Century and Contemporary Design department. “The intricacy of these works is stunning, and it’s meaningful to bring to market pieces that have such a deep, meaningful history in Philadelphia.”

Freeman’s explains that the twin roses of St. Paul were likely commissioned around 1904, completed in 1906, and supported in part by master merchant John Wanamaker, owner of the eponymous Philadelphia department store.

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Artist Creates Fantasy Sculptures By Repurposing Dead Insects

in Art 240 views

An artistic form of recycling has an artist in Belgium creating exceptionally unique sculptures from the bits, bones, and barbs of insects.

Joos Habraken creates these insectoid sculptures, measuring from 8 to 15 centimeters tall, out of between 30 and 100 pieces of dead insects.

Each sculpture can contain parts from up to 30 individual insect species including beetles, grasshoppers, mantises, and butterflies.

Joos harvests the bug body parts from insects he finds on walks or purchases them from wholesalers.

“I feel like I’m creating a new species with a new life and story,” Joos says. “I start with an archetype like father, mother, witch, or benevolent king. These are things that people know, without them knowing they recognize them.”

Then Joos takes apart the bugs, modifies the pieces he wants to use, and mounts them on a stick before gluing them together.

“The hardest part is getting the details right because you’re using 30 different bugs, so you don’t know if the head will fit the body,” said the 28-year-old rock climbing instructor from Ghent, Belgium.

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Muralist turns fairgrounds into his canvas

in Art 541 views

Two weeks are in the books at the Great New York State Fair, but with a long weekend ahead of us, there are still lots of gems to see.

Today we’re taking a look inside the Expo Center. It is a great place to check out some live art. Arcy is a spray paint artist, and he’s nearing the end of a mural. It’s hard to miss.

“Well I’m doing what I love to do and I’m inspiring people to do that, too,” said Arcy. “You don’t have to go into  the arts to do what you love to do, just see that I’m happy and I’m creating and I am spreading good energy and I think that’s the most important thing that we can do.”

At about 180 feet long and 8 feet tall, he calls the mural small because it’s a tight fit for working with spray paint. His lines only shrink down to about half an inch wide.

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The Case of the Bronze Girl and the Secret Garden

in People 406 views

We recently received a claim for an unmarked and unsigned bronze sculpture of a girl holding a birdbath. This sculpture was the central point of a fountain located in a formal garden on a grand drive leading to the insureds’ stately home. The insureds were claiming a value of $17,000, with an original purchase price of $10,000. No documentation was provided. The insureds remember that the work was purchased 25 years ago in New York at the recommendation of their interior designer, but they did not remember where. They believed this to be an original work of art. The photographs submitted to us for valuation showed the sculpture after it was knocked over in a windstorm.

Cracking the Case

Without an artist’s name or background information, we began our research by identifying key characteristics of the sculpture, then searching for those characteristics in sculptures described in public collections and galleries. Nestled in the heart of Central Park’s only formal garden, the Conservatory Garden, and standing at the end of a small waterlily pool, we found a sculpture of a girl wearing diaphanous clothing, one leg bent and holding a bowl, which serves as a bath for the birds who gather. The girl gently twists to look down and over her right shoulder, while the young boy rests at her feet playing the flute. This is the memorial fountain for Frances Hodgson Burnett, as created by artist Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872–1955). It depicts Mary and Dickon, the protagonists of Hodgson Burnett’s book, The Secret Garden. The sculpture was a match.

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