Street Art

How one artist took on the Sacklers and shook their reputation in the art world

The first few times I spoke with photographer Nan Goldin, I saw her anger and frustration over the prescription opioid epidemic that has derailed her life and killed tens of thousands of Americans.

“I have never seen such an abuse of justice,” Goldin told me.

She was talking about members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin.

Goldin himself became addicted to pain pills after the surgery. She later came to believe the Sacklers had lied about their drug’s safety and were unlikely to be held accountable.

“It’s shocking. It’s really shocking. I was deeply depressed and terrified,” she said.

What I missed in those encounters with Goldin—hidden behind the chain smoke and the tired laugh—was the strength, stubbornness, and dogged courage that helped her take on the Sacklers.

This is the revelation in the new documentary about Goldin, All the beauty and the bloodshed, now out in limited release. It won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice International Film Festival this year.

The film by Laura Poitras shows Goldin growing up in an abusive family, surviving foster care and living homeless in New York City.

Goldin has forged her way into the art world as one of the most powerful photographers of her generation. To pay the bills – and cover the cost of film – Goldin often danced in strip clubs and did sex work.

“Photography has always been a way to walk through fear,” says Goldin in the documentary. “It gave me a reason to be there.”

She later became one of the earliest American artists to tackle the AIDS epidemic, launching a show in the late 1980s that attracted national attention and controversy.

The Sackler family, meanwhile, grew incredibly wealthy, first by selling Valium and then aggressively marketing Oxycontin.

Many of the same museums around the world that began collecting Goldin’s photographs also named buildings after the Sacklers—in return for lavish donations.

The clash between the Sacklers and Goldin depicted in this film came after Goldin’s recovery from years of opioid addiction, a time she describes as “a darkness of the soul.”

After reading about the Sacklers’ role boosting Oxycontin sales in a groundbreaking article in The New Yorker, Goldin decided to challenge their carefully constructed public image as enlightened philanthropists.

“All the museum institutions need to stop taking money from these corrupt evil bastards,” Goldin says in the documentary, as she helps organize one of the opioid protests that have rocked the art world in the past five years.

It was not clear that Goldin’s campaign would work. The Sacklers were among the most respected and deeply connected art patrons.

“The museums…tried to pretend it wasn’t happening,” director Laura Poitras said in an interview with NPR. “None of them responded.”

But Goldin pressed on, recording more protests and publishing a scathing personal essay in the influential journal Artforum.

“She knew how to use her power. She is a figure that these museums wanted to work with,” says David Velasco, Artforum’s editor-in-chief, in the documentary.

It is important to say that the Sacklers have long denied any wrongdoing.

Their company has twice pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges related to opioid marketing and Purdue Pharma is now in bankruptcy.

But members of the Sackler family who ran the company and profited from opioid sales have never been charged with any crime.

While they have given up control of their company and are expected to pay billions of dollars as part of a settlement agreement, they are likely to retain much of their wealth.

However, they faced a different kind of liability.

In best-selling books like Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, the book and award-winning television series Dopesick, and this new documentary, the Sacklers have faced a kind of public shaming.

The Sackler name has been stripped from buildings and exhibition spaces in the Guggenheim, the Louvre, the Met, and other top cultural and educational institutions around the world.

In my conversations with Goldin, she described it as a slim kind of victory, weighed against the carnage of an opioid crisis that continues to rage.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have already died. Fatal overdoses, now driven mostly by the illegal street opioid fentanyl, hit a devastating new record in 2021.

In the documentary, however, Goldin grants her a moment of triumph. She walks through an exhibition space in the Met, where the Sackler name has been scrubbed from the wall.

“Congress didn’t do anything, the Justice Department didn’t do anything,” Goldin says. “This is the only place they are held accountable, the only place. We did it.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

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Analysis: Banksyland and the spread of the immersive art experience

Anyone with a social media account has probably seen the ad.

“Dip into the world of Banksy,” reads one ad.

“Banksyland” is a nationally touring exhibition exploring the anonymous artist’s work, produced by the Portland-based corporation One Thousand Ways. It promises a riveting examination of “the world’s most notorious and elusive artist” via “80 pieces and installations.” Prices for a one-hour tour range from $22 for students to $59 for a “VIP experience.”

Look a little closer, and it’s revealed that “Banksyland” was unauthorized by the famous British street artist, known for his iconic graffiti murals that appear seemingly overnight. In fact, it is not even the first unauthorized immersive art exhibition dedicated to Banksy to tour the US, a trend the artist himself denounced.

“Nope. Banksy has NOTHING to do with any of the current or recent exhibitions and they are nothing like a genuine Banksy show,” reads a statement on the artist’s Pest Control website. “They might be crap, so please don’t come to us for a refund.”

There are certainly important moral, ethical and even legal questions at stake here: Is it right to take an artist’s work without permission or consent, however good, and display it to paying customers? Can an artist or their representatives, even those who are deceased or, in the case of Banksy, anonymous, legally do anything about these types of exhibitions? And, perhaps more interestingly, given the ubiquity of these types of immersive touring exhibitions, should the public even care whether an exhibition is authorized by the subject or their representatives?

The rise of the ‘comprehensive’ art experience

One of the most well-attended art exhibitions of last year was “Immersive Van Gogh.” The internationally touring exhibition is one of many immersive exhibitions dedicated to the iconic Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Depending on which of the van Gogh experiences someone attended, patrons are treated to larger-than-life projections, virtual reality experiences and, in one case, the opportunity to practice yoga under the immersion.

Art purists may find something subjectively off-putting about the exhibits, which contain none of the original art and charge up to $60 per ticket, but they are legally above board. According to an article in MarketWatch published earlier this year, the producers of “Immersive Van Gogh” deducted nearly $250 million from the 4.5 million tickets sold. The success of these exhibitions is indicative of a larger trend: to create immersive, social media-friendly art installations that promise an “experience” rather than, say, a leisurely visit to an art museum. Another iconic artist, Frida Kahlo, has also been the subject of immersive exhibitions. Unlike van Gogh, whose work is not licensed by any particular company or estate and is part of the public domain, Kahlo’s name is overseen by the Panama-based Frida Kahlo Corporation.

But “Banksyland,” which opens Dec. 9 in San Diego, is unlike any immersive exhibit ever staged in a number of ways. First, it is the most prominent exhibition of its type that focuses on an artist who is still a living, working artist. Second, and most worryingly, while “Banksyland” is not the first unauthorized exhibition dedicated to the artist, the organizers are doing so despite the fact that Banksy does own trademarks and copyrights to much of his work.

“As [Banksy] wanted to sue for copyright, it sounds like he would have a legitimate claim,” says Amy Adler from her home in New York City. The Emily Kempin Professor of Law at New York University School of Law is one of the leading legal scholars on copyright and trademarks in the visual arts world.

Adler maintains that it’s important to distinguish the differences between copyright, trademark and fair use when it comes to an exhibit like “Banksyland.” Although all three fall under the legal umbrella regarding intellectual property, it is the concept of fair use, as Adler explains, that may be most relevant when it comes to a legal defense of an exhibit like “Banksyland.”

“Fair use is just a defense where the main idea is that: ‘I had a new meaning, message or purpose in the way I used your work and I did not use it to compete in the market, ‘ ” explains Adler.

Branding can also be relevant in the conversation about immersive exhibitions, as it deals with a company’s brand or, in this case, the brand of an artist.

“Trademarks really exist to protect the consumer from confusion about the source and copyright extends to any work that meets the definition created by the author,” says Adler. “Ultimately, it exists for the benefit of the public, to stimulate creativity.”

Copyright is often more relevant in the visual arts world because it is used to protect the people who create any kind of intellectual work – like visual art, a book, and even things like software coding.

“Copyright doesn’t make sense when applied to the art market because the way you make money in the art market is almost always by selling an authentic, original piece. There is very little value in copies,” Adler continues. This is the core thesis of her 2018 legal article, “Why Art Doesn’t Need a Copyright.”

“My contention is ultimately that there is this norm of authenticity in the art market that does all the work,” Adler continues. “It creates the value and sorts the worthless copies from the valuable originals, and that it makes copyright law’s assumptions about how that market works wrong and irrelevant.”

However, Adler admits that this is a difficult argument to make when it comes to an artist like Banksy.

“The problem with my theory as it applies to Banksy may be that the Banksy market just doesn’t function like fine art markets,” says Adler. “There may be a lot of value in reproductions and posters. I wouldn’t be surprised by that, and I don’t know how much of it goes to Banksy, as opposed to people taking advantage of the fact that Banksy is invisible.”

Exploitation vs. celebration

While art purists may be tempted to reject the use of an artist’s work, or even versions of that work, without the artist’s permission or trying to compensate them, there is a level of irony in the case of Banksy for a few reasons.

First, the artist himself has bluntly claimed in the past that “copyright is for losers.” But the artist has filed a number of trademark lawsuits and lawsuits over the years, most recently with a company, Full Color Black, that used his graffiti murals on greeting cards.

Second, in the case of an artist like Banksy, who presents himself as something of an anti-establishment provocateur, there is something to lose by fighting back against those who simply want to show his work, even if it seems solely for profit ?

To ask it another way, Banksy has cultivated an anarchic brand in which the rules don’t apply to him, and yet he still believes there should still be rules and laws protecting that brand?

Reviews and previews for “Banksyland” were mixed. An Austin critic for Sightlines, however, panned the exhibit, saying that it “capitalizes on Banksy’s anti-capitalist message.” Tickets for the exhibition’s Chicago stop cost as much as $50, with one local critic calling it “tone-deaf” and “an exercise in the kind of opportunistic capitalism and vague culture that Banksy’s graffiti might indicate.” A Portland publicationhowever, described it as more of a “tribute” to the artist and that the exhibition was “a really cool way to spend an afternoon.”

A case can be made for the value of these types of unauthorized displays. Yes, there may be naysayers who see the exhibition as problematic and their logic is sound. But given that tickets to the San Diego run of “Banksyland” are nearly sold out, it’s safe to assume that most people just want to see some cool art (even if it’s not real), more learn about an artist they admire and get a cool selfie for Instagram or the like.

Yes, there is a fine line between exploitation and celebration, but those who love the work of Frida Kahlo, Vincent van Gogh and Banksy can’t just go out to a museum to see all their work together in one place. And in the case of the latter, it’s not even something he’d likely be interested in offering. So, while the organizers of these types of exhibitions make hundreds of thousands of dollars from these exhibitions, it is not unreasonable to conclude that presenting the works as a whole is something of a public service, however morally dishonest.

Combs is a freelance writer.

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Today’s events for Saturday 3 Dec

Kenosha artist Missy Isely Poltrock talks about the 2022 Open House at Racine’s 16th Street Art Studios.

December 3rd is Make a Gift Dayso get creative with that glue gun and macaroni.

Kenosha artist Sarah Andersen talks about the 2022 Open House at Racine’s 16th Street Art Studios.

Artist Rebeeca Bissi talks about the 2022 Open House at Racine’s 16th Street Art Studios.

Kenosha’s Public Museum5500 First Ave., and Civil War Museum5400 First Ave., is jumping into the holiday season today with the International Holiday Celebration (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Public Museum) and Victorian Christmas (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Civil War Museum). Visitors will find live music, food, demonstrations and craft projects. Entry is free for all events.

Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, Groenbaaiweg 880, is offering a holiday boutique and bakery from 9 am to 3 pm today. There will be handmade holiday gifts, wreaths and decorations made from natural materials gathered on the Hawthorn grounds. Visitors can also “stock up on homemade cookies, cakes and candies perfect for gifts, or for your own holiday table,” organizers said.

People also read…

“Frozen the Musical Jr.” continues today at St. Joseph Catholic Academy, 2401 69th St. Performances are 7pm Fridays, 2pm and 7pm Saturdays and 2pm Sundays, until 11 December. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students (with ID) and free for children 3 and under. Tickets are sold at the door and online at

Christmas at Kemper – with the historical Durkee Mansion and the Gallery of Trees – is open today from 10am to 2pm at 6501 Third Ave. Self-guided tours of the Durkee Mansion showcase the “Victorian Winter Elegance” decorations. Adjacent to the mansion is the Gallery of Trees, featuring two floors of designer-decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces. (There is access to the elevator to the second floor.) Entry to both is free. Raffle tickets are sold at the Gallery of Trees for a chance to win a tree or other item. There are also silent auctions at the Gallery of Trees.

Also at Kemper Center today (and Sunday) is the Kenosha Public Market’s Holiday Market. The market, open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., features a large outdoor heated tent, plus more vendors (and a cafe) inside the Kemper Auditorium, 6501 Third Ave. Kids can pick up free s’mores kits and meet Mrs. Claus, who will help them write letters to Santa. Entry is free.

Lakeside Players’ production of “A Seussified Christmas Carol” continues tonight at the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St. The show is described as “a whimsical reinvention of Dickens’ best-loved Christmas story in wacky, rhyming couplets.” Performances are 7.30pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday 2-4 December. Performances continue December 9-11. Tickets are $10 and are available at and at the door.

The 16th Street Studios in Racine – home to 70 artists in the area – is hosting a Holiday Open House today from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors can meet artists, tour their studios and buy everything from paintings to pottery and jewelry. Food will be available. Entry is free. Free parking is available on the street and in the east and west lots. Enter the historic building, located at 1405 16th St., on its north side at either of its two entrances, covered canopies marked 1405 and 1515.

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This 16th Street Heights Rowhouse is filled with original art, estate sales and historic details

“Look Inside My Home” is our series where we peek into the homes of Washington residents. Want to showcase your home? Email [email protected]

Jenna McLaughlin (30) and her fiance, Adrian Hamins-Puertolas (30), bought their 16th Street Heights townhouse in November 2021, where they live with their two domestic shorthair cats, Oso and Abe. The couple got lucky amid the super-competitive market at the time—even though they toured around 20 homes, this home was the first they made an offer on.

While they had to go in with an aggressive offer, it was worth it, said McLaughin, who is a cybersecurity correspondent for NPR. The 2,000-square-foot home, which has four bedrooms and three baths, is right next to Rock Creek Park and within walking distance of Columbia Heights’ bars and restaurants. And the duo loved its historical touch. “The beautiful architectural details, many of them original from 1919—such as casement windows and the cornice in the dining room—made us fall in love.” said McLaughlin. “I was excited to capture the energy of the house’s 100 years and incorporate our style into it.”

Here, we talk to McLaughlin about filling her home with abstract art, Scandinavian teak furniture, and estate sale and Facebook Marketplace finds:

Bank: Room and board; lamp: West Elm; Eames Chairs: Estate Sale and Facebook Marketplace; Noguchi coffee table: Magpie Reclamations; magazine rack: Good Enough Vintage; rug: Etsy; sewing table: estate sale; hanging lamp: Community forklift; wood lamp: Facebook Marketplace; bookcase: estate sale. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

Bank: Room and board; lamp: West Elm; Eames Chairs: Estate Sale and Facebook Marketplace; Noguchi coffee table: Magpie Reclamations; magazine rack: Good Enough Vintage; rug: Etsy; sewing table: estate sale; hanging lamp: Community forklift; wooden lamp: Facebook Marketplace. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What was your inspiration for the home’s aesthetic?

“Since this is an older house, and because of supply chain challenges with ordering new furniture, I knew I wanted to get as much furniture as possible that was vintage and handmade. I wanted it to be warm, bright, colorful and beautiful, but at the same time cozy, comfortable and accessible. I’m big into the eclectic look, while Adrian likes modern, clean lines, so we make a lot of compromises and share joint visions that result in a truly unique look.

“Adrian and I are surrounded by art and artists and creativity in our families and throughout our lives, so we’re drawn to unique, original art, often textured and abstract in nature—whether it’s weavings and wall hangings or paintings with thick orbs— on paint. We have a lot of our family members’ original art, from my father’s beautiful watercolor dotted whale shark in our kitchen to Adrian’s grandmother’s tapestries and his mother’s incredible painted cardboard masterpieces. Other pieces we get from estate sales, and we like to bring things home from our travels.

“I wanted to complement those bright colors and unique textures with clean, simple lines and beautiful craftsmanship, which is where our love of teak, Scandinavian furniture comes in.

Eames Chairs: Estate Sale and Facebook Marketplace; Noguchi coffee table: Magpie Reclamations. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Bookcase: estate sale. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What is the biggest treat you bought for your home?

“Our chamber and board bench. We love handmade, vintage wood furniture, but vintage linens and upholstery are another matter, and we wanted a big, cozy couch that we’d have for decades to come. It was a great choice, especially the large angular chaise that our cats are big fans of.

Bench: Chamber and Council; lamp: West Elm. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Mat: vintage; pendant lamp: Home Depot; bank: Facebook Marketplace; mirror: Facebook Marketplace; radiator cover: DIY. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Radiator Cover: DIY. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What’s the best deal you’ve gotten on an item for your home?

“We managed to get our beautiful wooden credenza and a second large loft—both teak and made in Denmark—for $200 and $250, respectively. We were lucky because they are very heavy, and the people selling them on Facebook Marketplace just wanted to get rid of them. The only way we managed to snag them was because of our extremely generous family and friends who helped us jump at the chance, lift them both up and fit them in the car.

What renovations have you done to the house?

“Fortunately, our house didn’t need a ton of immediate renovations, which is what drew us to it. The kitchen has recently been redone and central air conditioning has been installed. But one thing we really wanted to do was make better use of the space taken up by our very large radiators. We created a beautiful handmade radiator cover for our entryway using wood and rattan boards. My dad designed it and cut the wood, and I helped paint it.

Have you done any DIYs around the house that you’re particularly proud of?

“The radiator covers, and we’re also proud to have replaced the light fixtures in the entryway and the living room, because they were very old and troublesome. (All credit to my dad!) And one of the fixtures was also salvaged for under $100.

Blue chair: Good Enough Vintage; art: Nora Lieberman; dining room furniture: mix of estate sales, vintage resellers and Facebook Marketplace. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Art: Nora Lieberman; pitcher: Target. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Chest: vintage. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What is your favorite part of the house?

“I absolutely love the living room and dining room. When we first saw the house, the dining room’s deep navy blue really made a statement. Our living room is extremely cozy—it took us a long time to choose the cozy orange rug from Etsy and find the two original Eames chairs, both found at estate sales and Facebook. I am also in love with the coffee table, a Noguchi glass piece.

“But our bedroom is also wonderful. We found the perfect vintage dresser, and got a teak nightstand to match the one we inherited from grandparents. We found a super cool Art Deco Lane chest that we keep at the foot of the bed for odds and ends. And above our bed is a special painting my uncle did that hung above my grandparents’ bed. So much of our home is beautiful, but also deeply personal.

Blue Salt Box: Zero Japan; kitchen mat: gifted. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Ice Bucket: Facebook Marketplace; glass bottle: Goodwill; orange pottery: Buy Nothing group. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What is your favorite item in your home?

“The dining room booth. It has a hidden bar cart compartment, a built-in glass cabinet with a light, doors that slide over the central drawers, and plenty of room for decorative glassware, vases and trinkets. We display books that belonged to each of our grandparents on the shelves, and we can store so many of our nice serving dishes inside.

“Though I have to say, we also have a sewing table made in Norway in our living room that I adore. We found it buried in the basement of a former diplomat’s house in Washington. We met a vintage collector who said he had never seen anything like it.

Dresser: estate sale; mountain art: estate sale; lamp: 1830 Vintage; shell paint: gifted; bedside table: Facebook Marketplace; quilt: Schoolhouse; duvet: Cultivar; bed frame: Thuma. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Tapestries: Hamins-Puertolas’ grandmother; chair: Facebook Marketplace; green chair: Facebook Marketplace; ottoman: estate sale; dresser: 1830 Vintage; side table: 1830 Vintage. Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.
Photo by Jenna McLaughlin.

What is your favorite thing to do in your house?

“Curl up on the couch with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. From our couch, you can see through the glass doors that separate the dining room from my office, essentially a sunroom. The southern light from the back of the house is beautiful, and our fiddle leaf plants love it too.

Who would be your top three dream guests for a dinner party at your house?

“Mia Hamm, Abe Lincoln and JRR Tolkein, together or separately, would be pretty cool. Not sure either of them care much about the house itself, but I hope they’ll be comfortable enough in our house to have a few drinks and share some insights from their fascinating lives.”

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian

Home and Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She has written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist and PoPVille. She is originally from North Carolina and now lives in Del Ray.

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For 10 years, Casa Azafrán has created a culture of belonging

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ Chris Hardie and Arcplus inaugurate the new Shanghai Library East as a vast, geometric, shape-shifting space of knowledge, inquiry and discovery.

Shanghai, China

“This important cultural center for the citizens of Shanghai embraces the idea of ​​’gathering to connect’—a space to bring people together. This is the city’s gift to them,” says Chris Hardie, design director and principal architect for Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

Designed by Chris Hardie and his team at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (SHL) together with local architects Arcplus, Shanghai Library East is one of the largest new libraries in the world.

The library’s primary function as a center of art, culture and technology-driven learning reflects the modern library’s rapidly changing raison d’être.

At the same time, its allusion to classical Chinese scholarship—the building’s shape conjures the scholar’s rock of the ancient literati—anchors it in tradition.

Taihu stones, or scholars’ rocks, served as muses for the Jin Dynasty intelligentsia—sources of creative inspiration and meditation.

They are prized for their abstract qualities, perforated surfaces, eroded cavities and unique textures.

In its architecture, interior design and programming, Shanghai Library East evokes a scholar’s rock in a Chinese garden: a multifaceted stone encased in an emerald canopy; A naturally occurring network of interconnected interior spaces; a source of knowledge, inquiry and discovery.

“This library was a unique opportunity to reinterpret a cherished Chinese symbol through architecture and design,” says project architect Jing Lin.

“In ancient times, scholars gathered around Taihu stones and drew inspiration from their edges, curves, canyons and tunnels, which seemed to shift when viewed from different vantage points.”

“Similarly, as visitors move through Shanghai Library East, their views of its interconnecting spaces change.”

The library’s exterior pays homage to printed literature through an even more subtle symbolism.

An abstract motif depicting 15 photographs of marble circles “printed” on the facade’s glass panels represents the library’s “cover”.

Arranged in horizontal bands of varying translucency, these etched panels allow light to penetrate deep into the building, illuminating the space—and, like a good book, enlightening the mind.

Although it houses multiple books, Shanghai Library East will also host more than 1,200 lectures, seminars, performances, events and hands-on activities for more than 4 million visitors annually.

This series of programs will be facilitated by 115,000 square meters of open, flexible and interconnected environments.

On the main level, a large central atrium welcomes guests into a large yet warm and inviting atmosphere of bamboo, oak and terrazzo.

Overhead, the floors stack and interlock—an architectural strategy to visually connect each of the library’s seven levels.

The lower floor serves as an agora, or central plaza, which hosts various events, exhibitions, a bookstore and a cafe.

“Libraries have long formed the backbone of many communities and become an integral part of our lives. That’s why we refer to them as the ‘third space’—a highly personal place that exists between our home and our work,” says Hardie.

From the outside, the library appears to “float” above two pavilions—one housing a 1,200-seat theater, exhibition and events; the other houses a children’s library with a central courtyard and outdoor play spaces.

On top of the pavilions are open-air reading rooms with roofs to protect visitors from rain.

Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the iconic Shanghai skyline and Century Park, the city’s largest green space.

“The smart and hybrid Shanghai Library East is a new generation library. It is not only a place for storing and lending books, or a reading room, but also an open space for culture and art,” says Chen Chao, director of the Shanghai Library.

“Exhibitions, lectures, music, art, the experience of technology, and even the access to the library itself are seen as a kind of ‘reading’.”

Local artists were an integral part of the design process.

Ten contemporary artists from China and abroad – including Xu Bing, Gu Wenda, Shen Fan, Zheng Chongbin, Emily Floyd, Ni Youyu, Mia Liu, Plummer & Smith, Simon Ma and Yang Zhenzhong – created site-specific permanent installations.

The public artwork program, compiled and realized by the international art consultancy and production company UAP (Urban Art Projects), is rooted in the theme “Mediums: The Development of Writing.”

The works are intended to inspire readers, encourage communication and celebrate knowledge.

“The public art vision for the Library, to create an unprecedented collection befitting an institution dedicated to education, study and the archiving of texts, was an essential guide in the realization process,” says UAP Principal Dane Currey , who oversaw the curation and delivery of the art program for Shanghai Library East.

“To be able to guide the artists and accompany the commissioner and their architects in this journey of conceptualization, experimentation and realization was an honor.”

Project: Shanghai Library East
Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Design team: Lu Rong, Jing Lin, Simon Persson, Bartek Winnicki, Tasha Feng, Sicong Liu, Michelle Tang, Liang Dong, Xiaoshu He, Xing Meng, Qi Zhao, Zhao Wu, Lanqing Hu, Xuewei Liu, Fangzhou Zhu, Morten Schmidt , Lukasz Truchalski, Trushit Vyas, Steven YN Chen, Morten Nielsen, Sebastiano Cattiodoro, Steven Morten, Tade Godberse, Chao Chen, Beihong Mao, Xianjing Jia, Jiaqige Sheng and Si Chen
Architects of Record: Arcplus East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Landscape Architects: Aspect Studios
Client: Shanghai Library

Photographers: Fangfang Tian, ​​RAWVISION Studio, and Chris Hardie


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SANAA is designing Sydney Modern to be “harmonious with its surroundings”.

Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning studio SANAA has expanded the Art Gallery of New South Wales with a series of pavilions that step down to Sydney Harbour.

Opening to the public on December 3, Sydney Modern is designed to contrast with the existing art gallery’s 19th-century neo-classical architecture, with the two buildings linked by a public art garden.

SANAA’s Sydney Modern opens to the public this weekend

SANAA aimed for the extension, which sits prominently on a hill overlooking Sydney Harbour’s Woolloomooloo Bay, to act in harmony with the scenic location.

“We aim to design an art museum building that is harmonious with its surroundings, one that breathes with the city, the park and the port,” said SANAA principals Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

Exterior of Sydney Modern by SANAA
The gallery overlooks Sydney Harbour

The building contains 7,000 square meters of gallery space – almost doubling the exhibition area for the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

It consists of a group of interlocking, rectilinear pavilions clustered around a large, glass-walled atrium at the building’s center that reaches over eleven meters at its highest point and has views of the harbor.

Roofscape of Sydney Modern by SANAA
The extension consists of a series of rectangular pavilions

On the lower levels rammed earth was used to build the walls using materials sourced from across the Australian state of New South Wales.

Meanwhile, glass walls have been placed on the upper levels to create views of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. On top of and between the pavilions are a total of 3,400 square meters of courtyards and roof terraces, which will be used to house various art installations.

Museum interior by SANAA
It is arranged around a central atrium

The extension includes a series of large spaces for displaying art, with a gallery dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art placed at the entrance level.

There are four more galleries, including two that are over 1,000 square meters each with 5.5 meter high ceilings, located on the lower levels. The building also contains a series of smaller exhibition areas, learning studios for children and school groups and a dedicated studio for creating multimedia works.

“Our vision was to transform the Art Gallery into an art museum campus with seamless connections between art, architecture and landscape,” said Director of Art Gallery of New South Wales Michael Brand.

“Our extension has such a strong sense of place and such an innovative display of art,” he added.

Circulation space within Sydney Modern
The architecture is designed to contrast the gallery’s original building

Underneath the building, a World War II naval fuel bunker has been converted into a 2,200 square meter space called the Tank.

The unique underground space has seven meter high ceilings and will be used for large-scale, site-specific commissions.

The Tank Gallery by SANAA
The tank will be used for large installations. Photo is by Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter

Sydney Modern is the first public art museum in Australia to achieve a six-star Green Star design rating. The building is powered entirely by renewable energy, with 10 percent of the energy created by solar panels on the entrance pavilion roof. Rainwater is collected for reuse in irrigation and cooling towers.

Sydney Modern is Japanese architecture studio SANAA’s first project in Australia. Founded by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa in 1995, the Tokyo-based firm was recently named winner of 2022 Praemium Imperiale for architecture.

The firm is known for designing several international museum projects, including a cloud-like structure for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum. Other recent projects by SANAA include a perforated metal-clad campus for Milan’s Bocconi University.

The photography is by Iwan Baan unless otherwise noted.

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New public art installation to honor Muskegon Heights marching band’s legacy

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – The Muskegon community’s next piece of art is set to honor the legacy of Muskegon Heights High School’s marching band.

The MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative announced last week it is in the planning and development stages for its seventh public art project, this one destined for Muskegon Heights.

The new project, “Band Together,” will be a 12-foot-tall, bronze sculpture of a Muskegon Heights Public Schools Marching Band drum major, designed by Floyd Cook Jr., the first African-American drum major for Muskegon Heights in 1958.

The sculpture stands tall on a 36-inch pedestal and will be a tribute to the Muskegon Heights High School Marching Band, which honed its style of marching from historically Black colleges over the decades.

It will be installed in October 2023 as part of the Rowan Park renovation on West Broadway Avenue, organizers said in a news release.

Muskegon Heights City Manager Troy Bell said the sculpture acts as the foundation while the city builds the new Rowan Park-Strand facility.

“No town can embrace a renaissance like we’re planning for Muskegon Heights without having public art at its core,” he said. “As part of the Rowan Park Strand Facility Development, ‘Band Together’ is a great example of great public art that can bring our community together to celebrate the rich and beloved history of Muskegon Heights High School.”

The statue will be created by Muskegon-native bronze sculptor Ari Norris, who also created “Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” near the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum and a Doris Rucks tribute sculpture at Muskegon Community College.

Signs depicting the Muskegon Heights Marching Band story from 1926 along with major donors to the project will also be installed at Rowan Park in 2023.

The budget for the project is $195,000, which includes the original bronze sculpture, plinths, foundations, lighting, donor recognition signs, installation equipment and labor.

The MuskegonCity Project Art Initiative raised $129,100 of the total goal last week, with $65,900 remaining.

Bell said the sculpture and park facility will be a new point of pride in the greater Muskegon community, featuring art, green space, a festival boardwalk, retail, residential and business space, and a makerspace.

The redevelopment of the park and the block that includes the historic Beach Building will also include a splash pad, as well as a picnic, play and community event space.

“Our city has done great things, but without the vision and a plan, there was no focus,” he said. “Now we have defined an emphasis that focuses on creating downtown Muskegon Heights as a family destination.”

Established in 2018 to develop and oversee the commission of 10 public artworks, MCPAI is a project of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Donations to support the “Band Together” Sculpture Fund can be mailed or dropped off at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, 425 W. Western Ave.

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Greece opens investigation into child abuse, fraud by well-known charity

Greece has opened an investigation into one of the country’s best-known children’s charities following numerous claims of alleged abuse and financial mismanagement, a justice ministry source told AFP on Sunday.

Founded by a charismatic priest, The Ark of the World has been working with underprivileged children in Athens and various other parts of Greece for at least two decades.

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Since mid-November, Greek media have been broadcasting allegations of embezzlement at the charity from former staff and former children under its care, blacking out their faces and disguising their voices.

One 19-year-old told police he was allegedly sexually molested by a senior charity official, according to media reports.

One former staff member said he was fired after speaking out after a co-worker allegedly hit three boys.

Others claimed that charity managers demanded monetary donations in lieu of clothes and food and lived a life of luxury.

This week the government replaced the organization’s entire board and installed new management.

The charity claimed to have around 500 children in its care, but Deputy Social Affairs Minister Domna Michailidou told To Vima on Sunday that the actual number was 136.

“(The children) are safe,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Alpha TV on Friday, calling the case “complicated.”

“We are interested to see what has happened in relation to the finances. Because these are facilities that handle large sums of money, mainly from private donations,” Mitsotakis said.

According to the media, the nonprofit received millions of euros and dozens of properties from private donors over more than two decades.

The charity’s founder, Father Antonios Papanikolaou, who has worked with children from disadvantaged Greek and migrant families since 1998, dismissed the claims.

“It’s not possible. It can’t have happened. I never hurt a child,” he was quoted as saying by Star TV on Wednesday.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos, sought to distance the church from the priest, saying Papanikolaou was “solely responsible” for running the charity and that he “never agreed” to cooperate with church welfare officials not.

In 2018, the Ark of the World was among 50 individuals and organizations from 26 EU countries to receive the annual European Citizen’s Prize, an award for initiatives that promote integration and tolerance.

The Ark has also received numerous local awards, including from the Athens Academy in 2008.

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Switzerland’s secret city has just been opened to the public.  Here’s what’s inside

The campus of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis features a shiny new visitors’ pavilion on the banks of the Rhine River and buildings designed by some of the biggest names in the world of architecture. But it was off limits to the public for most of the past two decades.

That changed last month when the campus opened to the general public in Basel, lifting the veil on Switzerland’s secret city.

In 2001, the company set out to transform a dreary industrial production facility into what it calls a campus of knowledge and innovation. The buildings were intended to encourage encounters between researchers, potentially leading to pharmaceutical discoveries.

The 1996 merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, which created Novartis, sparked the idea of ​​a place where scientists could freely exchange ideas. The company commissioned the top architects of the era to create new workspaces. Today it contains buildings designed by David Chipperfield, Fumihiko Maki, Rafael Moneo and Frank Gehry.

Why build these architectural gems only to keep them hidden for over 20 years? The company designed its new campus with a goal: to push its scientists and other employees out of the office to interact with each other. And it’s not just the buildings that do this. The Novartis campus also features open green spaces with ambitious public art by sculptors such as Richard Serra and neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer.

“The entire campus is designed to encourage maximum encounters,” says Nelly Riggenbach, head of Novartis campus communications.

This is not a typical corporate campus. It is more of a city within a city. There are cafes, an Italian restaurant and a grocery store.

On a late November morning, the streets are quiet. Although there are three riverboats full of tourists moored just a short walk away, they have yet to discover Switzerland’s secret city.

Riggenbach says the company’s corporate culture has shifted to one of openness, especially with the opening of the new Novartis Pavillon. With its competition, she says the company was ready to adopt a more welcoming attitude towards visitors.

You can access the campus on weekdays between 07:00 and 19:00 (The pavilion is open from Wednesday to Sunday.) Most of the buildings remain off limits to visitors – they are working laboratories and office buildings – but you can still see them admired from the outside.

Novartis has a long and sometimes controversial background. His predecessor companies developed the first birth control pill and synthesized LSD. Novartis researchers also developed the iconic Ferrari red paint and gave the world Ovaltine.

The Novartis Pavillon, which opened in April, houses a cafe, classrooms and interactive exhibits about the company’s history and the development of pharmaceutical products. Of course, the pavilion is a work of art in itself, with a facade of lights powered by solar cells.

The company is currently creating new drugs to treat heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.

The Novartis campus is not yet on any tourist maps, but that will almost certainly change in 2023 as more visitors discover Switzerland’s secret city – which is now an open secret.

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