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Driving into Boston the other day, I noticed the 1971 Rainbow Swash mural on the side of a National Grid gasoline tank. This is not the first time I’ve seen the painting on the gas tank along the Southeast Expressway; however, this time its sight struck me with inspiration. Besides the fact that it made being stuck in traffic more interesting, it inspired me to look up other ways art is incorporated into the public landscape and what benefits it brings.

Art always reflects or speaks; especially when brought into the public sphere, the artist’s message is magnified to a much larger scale. Corita Kent, the art behind the Rainbow Swash, was highly criticized for her work when it first appeared. It was said that the mural featured a profile of Vietnamese Leader Ho Chi Minh’s face in its blue stripe. Kent was a peace activist and some believe she was protesting the Vietnam War, but Kent herself always denied embedding such a profile. Whether this was what she was trying to say or not, her work got people talking and commanded attention.

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Photo taken by Steven James from Panoramio.com

After researching more public art, I thought a lot about the Cloud Gate. Commonly known as “The Bean”, Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois. Kapoor’s design was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture’s surface reflects and distorts the city’s skyline. It became so popular overnight that it is now considered the symbol of Chicago according to some.

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Photo taken by Alierturk on deviantART

Now, not all public art is created by one soul artist. Some are interactive and involve a community effort. Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in New Orleans, LA with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space. Her artwork became a powerful tool to restore perspective and remind her community of the things that make our lives meaningful. Her work teaches us that our public spaces are our shared spaces and at their greatest, they can help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.

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Movement is one of the key major design principles. It comes from the kinds of shapes, forms, lines, and curves that are used in an individual’s design. Below is a corporate branding design concept by Caroline Grohs for a fictitious theater. I just love her use of geometric shapes and lines. It is simple, clean and elegant and truly speaks to the sport of dance. Not to mention, her project won a Red Dot Award in 2013… pretty cool!

Grohs’ design incorporates important elements of dance such as dynamics, elegance and sensuality. 

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To include the illusion of movement, the design combines the close connection of the performance style with the movements of the dancers. This results in constantly new forms and figures, which make the logo appear to be in motion at all times.
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The impression of dance as “movement in space” is further supported by the seemingly floating typography that is incorporated in program booklets, business cards, stationery, flyers, the website and apps.

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Photography done by John Davis.

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It has been a hectic week for design! I am in the middle of designing Fall and Winter holiday photo cards , so when I came across this pin, I giggled. Whenever I get into a work flow, you do not see me without my MacBook Pro or a large cup of coffee accompanied by my favorite music playlist in the background. Also, what designer doesn’t love Helvetica?

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Check out more of my pins here.

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Leo finally lost his first baby tooth this week. And as you can see by the note above, he really ‘lost’ it. We think he may have swallowed it while downing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Luckily, he had read Gilbert and the Lost Tooth so instead of getting upset, he knew he could just write a note to the tooth fairy and she would leave something under his pillow (she’s quite trusting, you know!). There are a lot of cute books on losing teeth – here are some of our favorites:

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My Tooth Is Loose, Dr. Moose | The Night Before the Tooth Fairy | Twinkle the Tooth Fairy | Gilbert and the Lost Tooth

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I am so excited to write another Boston Love post about one of my most nearest and dearest friends, who also happens to be one of the most kick-ass photographers in the country (yes folks, she’s won a bunch of awards that prove this!). Maureen Ford and I go way back (think college days waiting tables in some shady places) but alas creativity rose to the top and we each found our calling. And Maureen has risen to the cream of the crop of her profession: her technicality is spot on, her choice of lighting is magical, her styling is amazing, but most of all, her personality and connection with her clients is beyond measure.

Having been both a bride and a mom, I can attest to both photo shoot situations: 1. wanting perfection (bride) and 2. praying for three seconds of peace from your kids so at least one good family shot can be taken (mom). Maureen is the wizard behind the curtain of hundreds of  fantastic photos for myself and countless other couples and families. For lifestyle shots, Maureen focuses on black and white photography that make your photos works of art.  If you are in the Boston area and need a fair-priced, highly talented photographer for an event or lifestyle session (think holiday cards!), definitely contact Maureen. Check out her wedding website, her portrait website and some of my favorite shots below.

(Our readers can get 10% off prints and products if they book with Maureen in June and July!)

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