Illustrator Alice Lin uses watercolor and pigment on rice paper and silk to create intricately detailed worlds. Human and animal figures are enveloped in pastel-toned bursts of swirling flowers, mushrooms, oceans, and rock formations. Despite their storybook-like quality, many of Lin’s works are fairly large, with some spanning more than three feet wide!
For the more than 60,000 children from Central America who cross the border unaccompanied.
With lines from Maya Angelou and Richard Wilbur
Arcing above our apartment building,
above the rousing city and green skirts
of the San Salvador volcano, a flock
of wild parakeets comes to roost
outside our window; my nine-month son
rests his head on my chest and all I want
is to draw the curtains, but he’s coughed
all night and now his breathing
is slow, near sleep, though his eyes snap open
with each squawk. I imagine the parakeets
preening their emerald feathers, joyful in their ceremony
of clacks and trills. They are not musing
the capriciousness of nature as I am; they don’t know
five thirty am, only that the sun has tinged
the mountainsides gold and that this alcove echoes
their welcome beautifully. The wild parakeets tap
at the windowpane and my son stirs,
raises his sleep-etched face to mine.
Together we slip past the curtain and discover
seven green parakeets, perhaps a little smaller,
their feathers scruffier than I had envisioned.
Two squabble over a prime niche and the stronger
one comes towards the glass, wings unfurled,
fat tongue thrusting from his open beak. I want
to unlatch the window and sprinkle seed, lure them
to perch on our shoulders and arms, anything
to make them stay longer. Instead, my son, rooted in
the things unknown but longed for still--
greets them with the slap of an open palm to the windowpane,
and in a clapping of wings
they leap from the narrow corridor at once, a raucus fleeing,
with headlong and unanimous consent,
a disappearing stain, a distant murmuration
swallowed from sight.
James Brunt creates elaborate ephemeral artworks using the natural materials he finds in forests, parks, and beaches near his home in Yorkshire, England. This form of land art, popularized and often associated with fellow Brit Andy Goldsworthy, involves detailed patterns, textures, and shapes formed using multiples of one kind of material.
With the push of a button or the crank of a handle, these whimsical wooden automata by Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada spring to life!
by Jericho Brown
Aster. Nasturtium. Delphinium. We thought
Fingers in dirt meant it was our dirt, learning
Names in heat, in elements classical
Philosophers said could change us. Star Gazer.
Foxglove. Summer seemed to bloom against the will
Of the sun, which news reports claimed flamed hotter
On this planet than when our dead fathers
Wiped sweat from their necks. Cosmos. Baby’s Breath.
Men like me and my brothers filmed what we
Planted for proof we existed before
Too late, sped the video to see blossoms
Brought in seconds, colors you expect in poems
Where the world ends, everything cut down.
John Crawford. Eric Garner. Mike Brown.
Every year, the people of Sumpango, Guatemala, celebrate the Day of the Dead with giant, colorful handmade kites. The town, known globally for its massive All Saints Day Kite Festival, takes these creations very seriously. These giant kites are masterpieces that require great skill, patience and six months of hard work to construct. This ancient tradition, which dates back nearly 300 years, is also a way for residents to connect with the past. Some believe that the hum sound each kite emits when flown protects the souls of departed loved ones from bad spirits.
Loïs Mailou Jones was a Boston-born painter whose plentiful, 70-year art career spanned North America, Europe and Africa. Her eclectic style shifted over time, taking inspiration from African masks, French impressionist landscapes and bright Haitian patterns. An active member of the Harlem Renaissance, she used vibrant visuals to heighten the urgency of her politically charged works, which addressed the joys and challenges of black life.
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