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The Next Season of Google Pixel Creator Labs Is Here
As the year draws to a close, visual arts incubator Creator Labs has released its eighth season of photography drops from 29 of the art world’s most promising image makers. A partnership between Google and creative agency SN37, the initiative provides funding and resources to each cohort as they create new work. This season the creators used the Google Pixel 8 Pro, whose Pro controls gave the artists unparalleled control over the device’s shutter speed and ISO.
Season eight’s body of work engages with cultural narratives spanning motherhood, migration, the LGBTQIA+ community, and beyond. This season also includes contributions from international artists —like South London portraitist Campbell Addy, fashion photographer Gabriel Moses (whose work is pictured above), Justin French and otherworldly image maker Furmaan Ahmed—in a first for the evolving incubator. Head to the Creator Labs hub to learn more. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz
Jessica Vincent, a polo pony breeder from Virginia, stumbled upon a rare glass vase by Carlo Scarpa while shopping at a Goodwill store in Richmond. The vase, known as the Pennellate vase or Model 3664, went up for auction at Wright Auction House this week with an estimated value of $30,000 to $50,000, ultimately selling for $107,100. Scarpa designed the one-of-a-kind piece around 1947 for Venini using applied opaque and transparent glass to mimic brushstrokes on its surface. The vase is one of the auction house’s rarest items on offer in the past decade; only one other vase of the same color combination is known to exist in a private collection.
A recent investigative report has revealed that Columbia University and New York University, two major private landowners in New York City, avoided a combined $327 million in property taxes. In response, New York State Senator John Liu and Queens Assembly Member Zohran K. Mamdani have proposed a bill to eliminate the tax exemption statuses of both universities. Under this proposed measure, Columbia and NYU would be required to pay substantial property taxes, with the proceeds going toward financing CUNY, a public university that has suffered significant budget cuts. This move primarily targets Columbia and NYU, exempting other higher education institutions in the city from losing their tax-exempt status. Comptroller Brad Lander supports this measure, citing the need to address the financial challenges faced by CUNY while wealthy private institutions expand their tax-free campuses.
The Desert X AlUla biennial names Maya El Khalil and Marcello Dantas as curators.
The third edition of Desert X AlUla, an outdoor art exhibition in the northwest region of Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to open on February 9. The event is part of the AlUla Arts Festival, reflecting the country’s efforts to transform its cultural image and diversify its economy. Organized by curator Maya El Khalil and documentary director Marcello Dantas, next year’s exhibition will feature site-specific works in various locations, emphasizing the theme “In the Presence of Absence.” The initiative aims to promote international, Saudi, and regional artists in a one-of-a-kind desert setting that eschews traditional gallery spaces.
Australia has become the world’s first country to ban engineered stone due to an increase in silicosis cases among workers handling the material. The ban, approved during a meeting of Australian federal and state workplace ministers, will be effective nationwide from July 1, 2024. Engineered stone, a mixture of crushed stone and a resin binder, is commonly used for kitchen benchtops but poses health risks as it releases harmful silica dust when cut. The decision follows reports of increased silicosis diagnoses among stonemasons and a national study concluding that no level of silica is safe in engineered stone.
Chad Oppenheim, the founding principal of Oppenheim Architecture, has received the 2023 American Prize for Architecture, presented by The Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Since 2000, Oppenheim, a Cornell graduate based in Miami, has buildings on five continents. His designs are described as subtle yet powerful, with a deep reverence for history, culture, and the natural environment, creating modern and meaningful buildings that harmonize with their surroundings.