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Michael David Murphy via Wikimedia Commons // CC-BY-SA-2.5

Climate Change Is Altering One of Utah's Most Famous Works of Art

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Michael David Murphy via Wikimedia Commons // CC-BY-SA-2.5

Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson’s monumental artwork along the shore of the Great Salt Lake, is getting farther and farther away from the lake itself. Though Smithson designed it in 1970 with the idea that the red-hued water on the lake’s northern shore would ebb and flow, ongoing droughts are likely to make it permanently dry, according to Hyperallergic.

The sculpture—a 1500-foot-long, 15-foot wide coil of rocks—has been completely obscured by the lake’s saline waters before. It was created during a low-level time in the lake’s history, and when the lake returned to normal levels just a few years later, it was completely submerged. It was invisible, viewed only through photos and videos taken during its creation. But since 2002, continued droughts in Utah have brought it above the water line for the long term. Rather than reddish water, the black basalt rocks that make up the sculpture are now covered in salt crystals.

The water is not going to come back to the sculpture anytime soon. The lake currently is experiencing its lowest water levels in recorded history. Between October 2015 and October 2016, the shoreline of the lake’s northern arm fell by almost 10 inches, from 4190 feet above sea level to 4189.2 feet. While that doesn’t sound like much, it’s a drastic difference from the lake’s historic high-water mark, at 4211.2 feet above sea level.

Smithson may have actually been pleased with the development. According to the Dia Art Foundation, the museum that now owns the piece, Smithson was “fixated on the chance operations of nature that lead to a state of transformation.” As the shoreline continues to recede, the sculpture will continue to transform.

[h/t Hyperallergic]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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