Everyday we need a little pick-me-up but especially so on Mondays. Here are our favorite tips, bits, and clicks to boost yo' Monday.
On my to-do lists this week I've got to repaint, redecorate, and frame tons of things in my apartment and all this DIY-ing has gotten me into an artsy state of mind. I've always been interested in art history, and anyone can tell you I spend way too long at museums, but recently I've been feeling a little distant from my art studies. Classes are hard to take with a 9-5 job, visiting museums can get pricey (unless you're in DC! FREE for the win!), and I've been looking for a way to research and learn more. What's usually a good first step to trying to learn something for free? The internet, of course.
Recently I've found two sites that have helped me delve a little deeper into my art obsessions, some serious and others not-so-serious...
The first is Artsy, an online source where you can "discover, research, learn about, and buy art" from artists, art movements, and shows spanning a vast timeline. In one click you can find out that you'll probably never be able to own a Rothko (currently the ones I'm lusting after are going for a cool $3.5 million), but that maybe, one day you could save up to purchase some pretty reasonable art in their under $1000 section. Even more valuable than the ability to purchase all of this amazing art is the ability to learn about it. They have a browse button where you can learn about different art movements and within their artist profiles you can find information on the artists, a listing of their work, shows that are featuring them right now, and related artists. The most handy space on the site for learning more about the art world is found in their Education section. Browse museum collections, art shows, and read articles about the art world of the past present, and future. And there you go! Suddenly you're learning about contemporary figurative painting on your morning commute.
The second art click that I'm loving is Little Collector by ArtStar. The idea behind ArtStar is that everyone should be able to own high quality pieces of art, without paying gallery prices. All prints come signed by the artist and are accompanied by a card of authenticity with a serial number. You can purchase just the print, or you can have ArtStar frame your piece for a bit more depending on your frame choice. Little Collector is the kid-skewed version of ArtStar, but I've fallen hard for a few of their pieces myself. They've got originals and prints from your favorite childhood illustrators and authors (the Very Hungry Caterpillar seriously speaks to my food loving soul...) as well as contemporary artists that have a kid appeal, like Darcel. The site has more than just prints, too! Sculptural works by big name artist Yayoi Kusama and skateboard decks are just the tip of the iceberg. You can really get in touch with your inner kid and inner art lover on this site - and usually you don't have to spend more than $100 bucks to do it! Check out some of my current favorites below.
For those who love live music, can cut a rug like no one's business, or just enjoy watching those who can, have I got exciting news for you. This week Lincoln Center's annual Midsummer Night Swing kicks off on Tuesday, June 24th, in Damrosch Park. If you've never attended, this is a three week long series of events that can be enjoyed with some extra bells and whistles with the purchase of a ticket or, with a walk to Lincoln Center, totally for free. With an impressive bandstand, disco lights, enclosed dance floor, and even a swanky VIP section, one can buy a pass for two to several dances or even the whole season starting at $60 and receive access to the dance floor, a free dance class per evening, bag check, and, depending on the type of pass you purchase, the VIP area. But what's the wallet-friendly way to take advantage of this outdoor party? Head on over to Damrosch Park and sit on the sidelines to enjoy the music or bring a partner and join the couples swinging, salsa-ing, and more just steps away from the dance floor on the no-ticket-necessary concrete. There are even those who come to find a partner there so don't be shy and speak those five romantic words, "Would you like to dance?" Musicians span the genres of swing, latin, disco, and rock 'n' roll, so there's a little something for everyone. Check out the calendar here and make a date for the dance floor now.
To continue the art theme, this weekend I had a lovely getaway on the east end of Long Island, one of the highlights being playing with a baby goat (which I highly recommend everyone to do before they kick the bucket). At La Maisonette, a antique and furniture store/gallery in the seaside town of Sag Harbor, I discovered the beautiful underwater photography of Tanya Malott. Her photographs were on display around the shop and I could not look away from the otherworldly images of anonymous figures (as the models faces are not seen) draped in flowing garments languidly moving in the water. Underwater: A Series About Weightlessness, Freedom, And Rebirth can be viewed on her site along with her other photography work. Take a look at this gorgeous collection of images for a trip into artful inspiration.