Ai Weiwei is Crowdfunding His Latest Art Project: A Series of Security Fences Around New York

Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/ Frahm & Frahm
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/ Frahm & Frahm

Artist/activist Ai Weiwei is famous for breaking down barriers (and stirring controversy) in his native China. But for one of his largest projects to date, he's actually building barriers—in New York, with help from the public. As Dezeen reports, Weiwei, in conjunction with the Public Art Fund, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to build security-fence installations throughout the city.

Called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (a line borrowed from Robert Frost’s 1914 poem "Mending Wall"), the urban project—planned to commemorate the Public Art Fund's 40th anniversary—is symbolic of both the international migration crisis and President Donald Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Erected on rooftops, in alleyways, and as freestanding sculptures, these individual artworks will examine themes like immigration, borders, and cultural division.

Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at Washington Square Park.
Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at Washington Square Park.
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/ Frahm & Frahm

“I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for 10 years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” Weiwei said in a statement. “The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment.”

“But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same,” he added. “Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.”

Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at Doris C. Freedman Plaza.
Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at Doris C. Freedman Plaza.
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/Frahm & Frahm

Several hundred artworks have been proposed for sites across the city, including around 10 major landmarks, according to The New York Times. Sites like Central Park, Washington Square Park, and the Unisphere monument in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park will host large-scale, freestanding sculptures, while smaller works will be installed on top of and between private buildings in Lower Manhattan and around bus shelters in Brooklyn and Harlem. In addition to these 3D works, Weiwei has also created a series of lamppost banners and posters, featuring portraits of immigrants, which will hang across the city’s five boroughs.

Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at the Unisphere.
Rendering of one piece in the multi-part Public Art Fund project "Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" at the Unisphere.
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/Frahm & Frah

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors will be on view from October 12, 2017 to February 11, 2018. To contribute to the Kickstarter campaign—which, as of press time, had already reached nearly $35,000 of its $80,000 goal—click here, or learn more by watching the video below.

[h/t Dezeen]

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.

 

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle - $29

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This 10-Year-Old Is Sending Art Supplies to Hundreds of Kids in Homeless Shelters and Foster Homes

Evgeniia Siiankovskaia/iStock via Getty Images
Evgeniia Siiankovskaia/iStock via Getty Images

She may be stuck at home, but Chelsea Phaire has found a way to connect with hundreds of kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. As CNN reports, the 10-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut, has used her time in isolation to send 1500 art project packs to kids in foster homes and homeless shelters.

Phaire had been interested in starting a charity from a young age, and on her birthday in August 2019, she launched Chelsea's Charity with help from her parents. Instead of birthday gifts, Chelsea asked for art supplies, and all the items she received went to a homeless shelter in New York. The Phaires have since set up a wishlist on Amazon, so anyone can donate supplies for the art kits. One pack includes crayons, paper, markers, gel pens, coloring books, and colored pencils.

In recent months, Phaire's mission to provide resources to underserved kids has become more vital than ever. Schools around the country have closed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which means kids have less access to art supplies than they did before. Young people may also be dealing with increased stress and boredom from being isolated inside. By sharing art kits, Phaire hopes to give them a healthy outlet for their struggles.

Chelsea's Charity has donated more than 1500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes since stay-at-home orders rolled out in March, which is more than was donated in the initiative's first five months. COVID-19 has forced Phaire to do some things differently: While she would normally get to meet many of the people she helps in person, she now sends all her donations by mail. Until it's safe to travel again, she's staying connected to kids through social media, as you can see in the video below.

[h/t CNN]