22 March 2016

See Inside the Precious Moments Chapel in Virtual Reality

The Precious Moments Chapel, fondly dubbed "America's Sistine Chapel" by many, was created by Sam Butcher, the artist, and creator of the Precious Moments religious giftware company. The entire complex features artworks that depict stories from the Bible.

This virtual tour focuses on 15 stained glass window panels designed by Butcher that flank the chapel's interior.  On the west side, the panels feature the artist's interpretation of the Beatitudes and on the east, the 23 Psalms. Regarding VR photography, they were a challenge to shoot simply because of the various light sources that affected the color balance of the windows in relation to the ambient and artificial light of the space.  

The Precious Moments Chapel, located in Carthage, Missouri, is open to the public almost daily but be sure to check their website for details as the hours is seasonal.  Admission and tours are free.

15 March 2016

The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts in VR

The setting sun illuminates the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts located on the campus of Pittsburg State University. This clean-lined new facility provides first class performing venues for the university’s theater, music, and dance programs, while also giving the town of Pittsburg a performing arts venue suitable for touring artists.

The heart of the building is an 1,100-seat lyric theater with flytower, orchestra pit, and orchestra shell, able to present Broadway musicals, orchestra, chorus, opera, ballet, jazz, and popular music.  A 250-seat drama theater is the primary performance space for the drama department.


13 March 2016

Death Valley Super Bloom 2016 in #VR

Death Valley "Super Bloom" 2016 in #VR.
Click and drag image above

If you're a close up or macro photographer, the Death Valley Super Bloom for 2016 is amazing. For panoramic photography, it's a bit underwhelming as this sweet but subtle phenomenon is swallowed up by a wide lens.

In this shot, a lovely "carpet" of Desert Gold (Geraea canescens) can't quite fill the frame in 360. But look to the horizon and you'll see a the floral equivalent of a Milky Way of yellow flowers. Also, while I never observed a "blanket" of Notch Leaf Phacelias, I did see dozens of sphinx moth caterpillars munching on the flower's leaves which are easier to observe close up.

I went out to experience the super bloom yesterday and apparently the phenomenon is in full effect and expected to be for another week or so, according to the ranger I spoke to at Stovepipe Wells Visitor's Information Center who also advised me on the best places to see the wildflowers.

For me, I recommend taking a nice little loop drive up the Beatty Cutoff Road and down Mud Canyon, then back to Furnace Creek along Highway 190.

10 March 2016

Virtual Tour of Miners Memorial - Immigrant Park, Pittsburg, KS

Miner’s Memorial, dedicated in July 2008 pays tribute to the immigrants who settled in Southeast Kansas and worked in the Weir-Pittsburg Coalfields of Cherokee and Crawford Counties.

The Miner’s Memorial features a large bronze statue of an era miner, large black granite monuments with the names inscribed of the miners who worked in the Weir-Pittsburg Coalfields and stone walking path leading past several information kiosks that tell the story and history of the mining industry in Southeast Kansas.

Sattelite View of Miners Memorial on Google Maps
When I was looking for this location on my smartphone, I was surprised it wasn't on Google Maps or Google Maps Street View. So I submitted it and it was immediately accepted.

To see it on Google Maps Street View app, click here (be sure to download the app for your particular device). The app supports VR mode for use with Google Cardboard.

Miners Memorial is seeking family histories of coal miners in Crawford and Cherokee Counties. An estimated 10,000 men worked as miners in the area. People are encouraged to register their mining ancestors as soon as possible. To submit a story, click here.

07 March 2016

Discover the Pittsburg ArtWalk "Your Downtown" Mural located in Pittsburg, Kansas

The Pittsburg ArtWalk in Pittsburg, Kansas has been a local happening since 2005. For 2015 ArtWalk, in collaboration with SEK Art Fest, a completed public art piece entitled "Your Downtown" located at the northwest corner of 5th Street and Broadway was dedicated.  It was so beautiful that I had to photograph it and share with the world on Roundme. I also put it on Google Maps. Both apps have a VR mode for iOS and Android smartphones so get that Google Cardboard on and take a stroll!

The execution of "Your Downtown" was completed in two stages.  In Stage 1, the Pittsburg ArtWalk commissioned six artists to complete a mural on the side of the 501 N Broadway building. Each artist was provided a panel of wall space to complete the theme.

Pittsburg ArtWalk Downtown Mural
Pittsburg ArtWalk Mural 2015

Blank wall, ripe for a mural! Source: Google Maps Street View 2013

Then in Stage 2, ArtWalk obtained a grant from the SEK Art Fest to help complete the second phase of the mural, which is the black and white lettering above the panels that says:
"Pittsburg is your downtown and your voice. Share. Beauty. Love. Fun. Build. Strength. Unite. Joy. Believe. Create. People. Shop local. Help a neighbor. Tip the band. Be kind. Support. Buy art. Hope for. Vision. Live. Peace. Explore. Connect. Our community is a better place because of you!"
All in all, it took seven artists to complete the mural. One even traveled from Omaha, Nebraska to contribute.

The mural was dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and artists recognition reception on September 11, 2015.

The next Pittsburg ArtWalk for 2016 is slated for April 22. If you're an artist, and you're interested in participating,  ArtWalk is putting out a Call For Artists so be sure to sign up!

Pittsburg ArtWalk would like to thank the following artists, organizers, and sponsors:

  • Kelci Cooper
  • Elizabeth Cosby
  • Camillia Fearmonti
  • Heather L Horton (assisted)
  • Holly Kranker
  • Bryan Lewandowski
  • Amanda Smardo
  • Jenna Spencer

  • Kelci Cooper
  • Kris Hartley
  • Heather L Horton
  • Roger Horton
  • John Kutz

  • 3M
  • CDL Electric
  • JS Kutz Rentals & Construction
  • Pittsburg ArtWalk
  • SEK Art Fest
  • Sweet Designs Cakery
  • TJ Lelands

04 March 2016

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

Hi, everybody.

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm experiencing extreme technical difficulties with my blog including ghost posts, subsequent Twitter posts (due to integration) and importing my blog to my website.

I use Google's Blogger/Blogspot service to publish. Then I use a plugin to import the feed into my site. Remarkably, for several years this system worked seamlessly but recently Google rolled out a security update, an encryption protocol set forth by the Internet Engineering Task Force ( IETF ) to make the Web a safer place.

In the long run, this is a good thing. But the upshot was the update broke my website's blog integration so now when you click on http://tanjabarnes.com/blog you are unable to scroll down.

The timing of this was less than perfect because unfortunately, the developer of the plugin closed up shop at the end of February after a decade in business, so there is no support.

At this point, I recommend that if you want to see my posts, go directly to https://tanjabarnes.blogspot.com or subscribe via email until a workaround solution can be found or the plugin replaced.

24 February 2016

Put On Your Google Cardboard and Experience Beijing's 798 Art Zone in VR

Once the home of the North China Wireless Joint Equipment Factory, the 798 Art Zone is a vast compound built in the 50s that has been renovated to house dozens of galleries, design studios, art spaces, artists' studios, ateliers, fashion houses, shops, restaurants, and bars.

Today the 798 is also the epicenter of China's street art scene. So in December 2015, I took my camera rig to document what it looked like.

While this virtual tour represents a compilation works seen on the streets and back alleys of the 798, it is by no means complete. The 798 is like a coral reef where the art is as ephemeral as a school of tropical fish darting through a diverse ecosystem of throw-ups, tags, and graffiti as well as more elaborate art pieces like murals and sculptures.

798 Art Zone Beijing

26 September 2015

"RISE UP" - The Street Art of Las Vegas from the Life is Beautiful Festival featuring Works by Alexis Diaz, AWARE, D*Face, Doze Green, Vhils, Zio Zeigler and Many More

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas -- literally! RISE ABOVE is the eclectic, and permanent street art program of Life Is Beautiful Festival curated by JUSTKIDS that turned 15 blocks of Downtown Las Vegas into an art-inspired playground showcasing works by some of the biggest names in international urban art. Line-up: Vhils, D*Face, Doze Green, Interesni Kazki, Ben Eine, Alexis Diaz, Zio Ziegler, Bicicleta Sem Freio, Ana Maria, The Stencil Network, Hot Tea, Aware and many, many more.

The annual Life is Beautiful Festival, backed by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, is held in Downtown Las Vegas and some street artists was invited to participate in giving the Fremont East Entertainment District a makeover. The festival has long since ended, but the works remain as a testament to art, life, and beauty.

I was recently in Vegas to meet with some cool freaks and geeks at Zappos headquarters to explore and understand the amazingly innovative corporate culture that goes on inside one of my favorite on-line shopping destinations. There's a word for what they do at Zappos; it's called "holacracy" a radical “self-governing” operating system where there are no job titles and no managers.

While I was there, I learned that Hsieh has pledged over $350 million of his personal fortune to rejuvenate this blighted stretch of Las Vegas and make it a tech mecca for startups.

The Life Is Beautiful Festival takes place every year, so I'm anticipating there'll be more street art images to capture and share in the fall.

To view the tour, simply begin by clicking the image above and either use portals embedded in the image, or scroll through the slide show at the bottom to view an image that appeals to you.

29 July 2015

18b Arts District - Las Vegas Street Art & Murals

The "18b" in Las Vegas, Nevada,  is just a short walk or bus ride from Fremont Street. Also known as the Las Vegas Arts District, the "18b," represents the original Arts District area, which consisted of 18 blocks.

Many international street artists are drawn to the area and the organizers of the "Life is Beautiful" festival held in Downtown Las Vegas, promotes street art by commissioning works for the event.

Included in this virtual tour are pieces by Aware AS, Ana Marietta, Bicicleta Sem Freio and Milk the Bunny. However, it's been sitting in  "draft" mode on Roundme for almost a year now as I awaited to identify some of the artists whose work can be found here.

I think by now the art work in the area may have already changed as street art is so ephemeral.  So I'm publishing it today with the hopes that visitors to this blog can help me identify those pieces. Please leave a comment if you know!

Las Vegas street art
18b Street Art and Murals featuring works by Bicicleta Sem Freio, 
Ana Marietta, Aware AS, Milk the Bunny

20 August 2014

Cell-e-Brate - Final CELLspace Jam in San Francisco on Saturday 8/30/2014

CELLspace Since 1998, CELLspace in San Francisco's Mission was a locus for unique cultural, artistic, and community events.

The space is also known as a world famous practice venue within the street dance community, and many events were held there such as Mighty 4, Solidify, Momentum, Who Can Roast the Most, and Burning Sessions to name just a few.

Sadly CELLspace lost its lease and will be closing its doors for good at the end of 2014.

However, dancer and beat rocker Vandor "Whacko" Hill and his friends will be hosting a final jam celebrating CELLspace and its historic place in the Bay Area.

The goal of this jam is to raise funds to secure a new location for the SF dance community.  This is an all ages event that will showcase dancers in a competition setting with live art, spoken word, and an award ceremony honoring those who gave the dancers and artists a place to dance, create, and share within a community.

2050 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110 
(between 18th St & 19th St in Mission)

August 30th 2014 from 2pm-10pm. Battles start at 4 pm sharp

Can't make it? CELLspace still could use your support. Donate today!