1stDibs Spotlights Black Artist Fund Grant Recipients, and Other News

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Black Artist Fund board member Darryl Westly. Photography by Kendall Bessent

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1stDibs Spotlights Black Artist Fund Grant Recipients 

Launched in summer 2020 during the Black Lives Matter movement, the Black Artist Fund seeks to combat systemic art-world inequity by platforming and financially supporting Black artists. The initiative has since supported dozens of up-and-coming creative talents with grants totaling more than $43,000. “Providing aid to African Americans shouldn’t just be restricted to those outliers deemed worthy of the title of ‘Black excellence’ or those living under the most extreme of circumstances, but should be offered to each and every artist with the courage, ambition and perseverance to make their dreams a reality,” Darryl Westly, an artist, curator, and Black Artist Fund board member, tells Introspective

That’s why 1stDibs teamed with the Black Artist Fund to launch the Black History Month Collection of artworks from both emerging and established artists and photographers. The design e-commerce powerhouse enlisted Westly to carefully select artworks from ten grant recipients— Joanne Petit-Frère, Andrew Ross, and Ashley Teamer among them—to feature in the collection, which will be shoppable throughout the month of February. Keep watching the space: Each artist will also receive subscription-free 1stDibs storefronts for one year.

Hall des Lumières. Image courtesy of Culturespaces

A former Manhattan savings bank will soon become a go-to venue for immersive art. 

Culturespaces is breathing new life into the landmark Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank opposite Manhattan’s City Hall Park. Known for converting historic spaces into canvases for immersive art experiences, the French company will reimagine the 1912 building into Hall des Lumières, projecting glowing, animated displays of images from celebrated paintings onto ornate marble walls, towering columns, and stained-glass skylights. Set to debut this summer, the inaugural show titled Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion will take viewers on a thematic journey through the sensuous works of the eponymous Viennese painter courtesy of pioneering digital producer Gianfranco Iannuzzi.  

Medal designs for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics nod to unity and precious stones.

Dozens of athletes will be receiving medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, which are currently underway in Beijing. Medal designs are often infused with special meaning from their host city, with Chinese organizers looking to the past and their own culture for inspiration. “We used jade into the design of the medals, which is in line with the 2008 Olympic medals,” Liz Cunzhen, director of arts for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, told NPR. “It’s a reflection of Beijing being a two-time Olympic city.” Besides the use of jade, a precious stone with roots in ancient Chinese history, this year’s medals incorporate five rings with carved designs based on traditional Chinese calligraphy.

50 Rockefeller Center by Studio Mellone

Studio Mellone brings hospitality touches to a storied Rockefeller Center building.

The lobby at 50 Rockefeller Center, one of the Midtown Manhattan complex’s most alluring buildings, has undergone a sweeping renovation by local firm Studio Mellone. The newly transformed space brings touches of Art Deco influence while leaning on exclusively New York makers, such as lighting by Apparatus, furniture by Green River Project, rugs by Erik Windstorm, and urns by Jake Szymanski. According to firm principal Andre Mellone, the building’s developers wanted to inject a hospitality feel into the highly trafficked lobby, and turn it into “spaces that people want to be at and enjoy, not just like a mausoleum stone box where you check in and then just go upstairs,” he tells Wallpaper

Charles Brooks captures architectural spaces hidden inside classical instruments.

At first glance, the photography of Charles Brooks may evoke abandoned buildings, but closer inspection reveals the cavernous spaces and tunnels are actually the interiors of classic musical instruments. “The interior of a cello or violin was only something you only saw when being repaired,” Brooks, a former concert cellist, told My Modern Met. “Exploring the inner workings of these instruments came naturally as soon as I was able to get my hands on the probe lenses necessary to photograph the instruments without damage.” To get the clearest shot possible, he often takes “dozens to hundreds” of images that shift the focus from front to back, which are blended into a final shot where everything is clear.

Hotel Paradero. Photography by Onnis Luque

A new brutalist hotel inspired by the sculpting effect of desert wind debuts in Mexico. 

Beach brutalism is coming to Mexico’s exclusive Todos Santos destination in the form of the new 35-suite Hotel Paradero. Designed by POLEN Arquitectura de Paisaje and Yektajo Valdez Arquitectos, the project is inspired by nature—the topography and pathways shaped by wind, the effect of desert rain on instantly transforming the landscape with flora and fauna—reflecting its surrounding landscape on family-owned farmland near the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. The spare interiors are the work of B Huber, a Guadalajara studio that specializes in hospitality work. “The desert is a land of constant change. winds and seasons shape and reshape it, transforming its undulations, its reliefs, its fissures, its entire appearance with a single sweep of the wind,” the design team says

The Architectural League of New York names this year’s Emerging Voices winners. 

Each year, the Architectural League of New York selects eight emerging firms to be named winners of its annual “Emerging Voices” competition, which spotlights firms with distinct design voices that have the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. “This year’s winners were united in how they each clarified new types of agency, and new notions of value motivated by an optimism about what an architect could and should do,” says Paul Lewis, a jury member and president of the Architectural League. This year’s winners include Ara Aksamija (MIT Future Heritage Lab); Paola Aguirre Serrano and Dennis Milam (Borderless Studio); Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio, Emmanuel Ramirez, and Diego Ricalde (Estudio MMX); Felecia Davis (Felecia Davis Studio); Behnaz Assadi and Nima Javidi (JA Architecture Studio); Daniel Aadms and Marie Law Adams (Landing Studio); Sekou Cooke (Sekou Cooke Studio); and Tsz Yan Ng (Tsz Yan Ng Design). Each winner will present their work in an online lecture series starting in March. 

Today’s attractive distractions:

Home company Angi faithfully renders Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt houses.

Velveeta leans into the hype and installs its own golden box in Central Park.

Have you ever wondered how often you should vacuum underneath the bed?

A lucky NASA engineer accidentally invented the Super Soaker in his bathroom.

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