Scenes and Sorrows: A Portrait of Weeping Mary

"Trey's Ride" O. Rufus Lovett

“Trey’s Ride” O. Rufus Lovett

In the special series deep in the heart of (a transforming) TexasNPR highlights O. Rufus Lovett’s photo essay of the unincorporated town of Weeping Mary in East Texas. Lovett creates a portrait of a community rich in spirit, in which people are “married to this place which is theirs and appears to stand still, but which subtly moves forward with the rest of the world in the twenty-first century.” Weeping Mary initially drew the artist—curious about the origin of the name—to the location. Rooted in local lore, the name refers to a story about a woman whose home was swindled from her and how she weeps for her loss. Lovett’s imagery appears timeless and depicts the town with reverence and beauty.

The published body of work is available through The University of Texas Press, Weeping Mary.

Source: NPR All Things Considered

A Central Nervous System Born from Text


Artist Barbara Wildenboer’s Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginably Large project creates sculptures constructed out of carefully cut books that are pieced and layered together to replicate the human nervous system. The books’ bindings not only frame the pieces but serve as a spine for the sensorium. Wildenboer’s works often center on scientific subject matter and geography—capturing the complex and interconnectedness of natural systems.

Source: Colossal

Photographer Abelardo Morell at the Harry Ransom Center

A Mad Tea Party, 1998 | Abelardo Morell

A Mad Tea Party, 1998 | Abelardo Morell

This week at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC), Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morell will give the Amon Carter Lecture in the HRC’s Prothro Theater on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30.

The HRC’s current exhibition, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, features five photographs from Morell’s Alice in Wonderland series. Morell’s images utilize reproductions of Lewis Carroll’s original character sketches arranged in “scenes” literally pulled from the pages of the book. Morrell states on his website: “When I began to make photographs illustrating this book by Lewis Carroll I had in mind that books themselves should form the architecture and landscape where the story takes place. Because books belong to both the physical and imaginary worlds, I thought that they might serve Lewis Carroll’s tale well. Traveling to Wonderland could seem, after all, to be an experience very much like that of walking across the pages of a story—like going deep into a book.”

Source: Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas at Austin

Art of the Hive


Artist Ren Ri’s “Yansu II” is an extension of his past work with beeswax which combines his interest in molding and insect ethology. Ri defines “Yuansu” as “…a comprehension of the gestalt of life.”

The bees collaborate with Ri forming their work around a queen placed in the center of a plastic polyhedron filed with a framework of sticks. Every seven days—inspired by the seven days of creation—Ri moves the piece and changes the gravity of the honeycomb; the directional change is determined by the roll of a die.


Preserving Modernist Style in the Wake of Urban Commercialism

The MacDonald House, designed by Seibert. (Larry Reinebach)

The MacDonald House, designed by Seibert. (Larry Reinebach)

City Lab (The Atlantic) offers a closer look into the influence an architecture school had in shaping Sarasota, Florida into a modernist haven and the challenge of preserving that legacy. Sarasota School of Architecture Professor Tim Seibert’s design career spanned over sixty years and helped put Sarasota on the Modernist map. However, as Sarasota’s population has changed so has its modernist identity. Currently the city is debating how to maintain its original identity as strip malls and high-rise condos go up in place of beach-front bungalows. Preservationists: keep an eye on Sarasota as its plans for preservation develop.

Source: City Lab (The Atlantic)

Next Stop: Atlantic Ocean

Next Stop Atlantic - Stephen Mallon

Next Stop, Atlantic – Stephen Mallon

For ten years, decommissioned NYC subway cars have been discarded into the Atlantic Ocean by the Metropolitan Transit Authority with the intention to create artificial reef habitats on the eastern seaboard. The cars—stripped of seats, windows, and equipment—are hauled along the coast from Delaware to South Carolina. Once deposited in the ocean, they act as stable surfaces for marine organisms to attach themselves. Next Stop, Atlantic is a striking collection of images documenting the cars as they enter the ocean on their way to becoming something radically different than what was envisioned by their creators and those who rode in them.  Images taken by industrial photographer Stephen Mallon are devoid of human interaction and capture action stilled in the frame—evoking a haunting and abandoned quality to his beautiful imagery. The exhibition at NYU’s Kimmel Galleries runs through March 16th.


Lewis Carroll: Amateur Photographer

Lewis Carroll_photography

Roy Flukinger, Senior Research Curator of Photography at the The University of Texas at Austin Harry Ransom Center, will be lecturing on the photography of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on Tuesday, March 10, at 4 p.m. Better known to the world as Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, Dodgson was also a prolific amateur photographer. Once obscure, his photos—now considered an accomplished and valuable archive—most notably capture Victorian-era, middle class life through portraits.

The talk is scheduled in conjunction with the Ransom Center’s current exhibition Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, on view through July 6, 2015.

This Place


This Place—a documentary photography project and traveling exhibition—explores the culture, community, and conflict surrounding Israel and the West Bank from the vantage point of twelve artists. During six-month residencies in Israel, the collective of artists utilized a breadth of formats and techniques to represent the complexities inherent in these highly contested spaces. Selected works will be on exhibit at the DOX Center for Art in Prague through March 2, 2015, after which the exhibition will move to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Source: This Place

Miniature Town: Elgin Park


Michael Paul Smith’s Elgin Park—a miniature fictional town—is as complex as the creator and self-proclaimed mayor. Smith pairs his talent for model building with a point and shoot camera to create strikingly realistic images of a bygone time.  As detailed in the short documentary Elgin Park, Smith reveals his lifetime struggle with depression as well as his immense gratitude for his life. Smith embraces these complexities in Elgin Park, weaving positive memories alongside the tragic. Smith describes the creation of Elgin Park as therapeutic through the exercise of imagination and the cultivation of memory to create “3-D memories.”

Source: City Lab

The Life of a Square


Failed Architecture’s case study of Rose Revolution Square in Tbilisi, Georgia looks at the square through the lens of political power and its effect on public space and commerce.  The study parallels the life of a hotel overlooking the square and the square itself.  The hotel has functioned as an enclave for the elites of Eastern Europe in the 1960s, the home of 800 Abkhazian refugees during the country’s civil war in the early 1990s, and currently as part of a five star international chain hotel. Failed Architecture pairs archival and present-day photos with social and political history to catalog fifty years of change.

Source: Failed Architecture

We Own the City


CITIES magazine has launched their second book We Own the City: Enabling Community Practices in Architecture and Planning to chronicle people-driven urban initiatives. The book aims to chronicle grass roots driven urban development—in an effort to bridge the “bottom-up” with the “top-down”—through the discovery of mutually supportive development practices. Practices are taught using case studies from five major cities of the global north: Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York City, and Taipei. For further exploration check out We Own the City: Enabling Community Practices in Architecture and Planning at The University of Texas at Austin Architecture and Planning Library.

Source: Pop-Up City