Explore NYC for hundreds of bus shelters and kiosks featuring 50 Artists: Art on the Grid, launched by Public Art Fund at the end of June, with an additional 40 artists hitting the streets on July 27.

West New York 2020, Arielle Bobb-willis, 2020. Courtesy the artist. (Photo: Intersection, courtesy of NYC & Company)
Wax Studios Belt

Gear up for Fall with a limited edition Wax Studios Utility Belt, featuring a custom calligraphic typeface we’ll be launching later this year (stay tuned). All proceeds will go to support CUP’s partnership with the Red Hook Community Justice Center, where students will investigate police accountability and the future of public safety. Order here for $35 plus shipping. Limited edition of 30!

Creative Black Music at the Walker is Volume IV of the Walker Art Center’s Living Collections Catalog. A growing archive of mixed media and essays, it draws on a history of avant-jazz programming dating back to the 60s and 70s, focusing on “work that exemplifies artistic freedom, self-determination, racial justice, interdisciplinarity, and free-flowing creative expression.”

Composite image: Materials related to creative black music performances at , 1960s–1980s, Walker Art Center Archives
Big Drip, Fivio Foreign, 2020

Watch Fivio Foreign talk about Pop Smoke, the Brooklyn Drill scene (“the soundtrack to a summer of unrest”) and how he made Big Drip.

Something Special Studios is launching a Black Creative Endeavors Grant, supporting five Black-led creative initiatives with grants of $3,000 each. Applications are due July 31!

Image via @somethingspecialstudios on Instagram
Show Graphic from Between Two Palms

Episode 4 of Between Two Palms on wax.radio features art critic and writer Antwaun Sargent in conversation with photographer Nona Faustine about her new series My Country, which confronts the truth and trauma behind iconic American monuments.

Also edited by Antwaun Sargent, Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists surveys the work of contemporary Black artists curated from The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art. Available for pre-order.

Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art
Image via MIT Website

Let’s come together in (universal) harmony — researchers have observed that perception of musical harmony and dissonance seem to be universal, according to this MIT study, which compared harmonic intervals between people in Boston and people living in the remote rainforests of Bolivia.

If, like us, you’re hooked on I May Destroy You, by Michela Coel, you may want to check out the soundtrack on Spotify. And to go a little deeper, read this Times story by Reggie Ugwu, on how Ciara Elwis, 27-year old music supervisor, put it all together.

Still image from I May Destory You
Jon Batiste performing on the steps of the Brooklyn Library at a Juneteenth event, Photo by Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Musician Jon Batiste brought music to the streets during the protests in New York, touching on a legacy of jazz protest anthems. This New York Times article traces the roots of jazz music’s social empowerment, referencing William Parker’s new music and Duke Ellington’s epic suite Black, Brown, and Beige.

Albert King’s, King, Does the King's Things is back on vinyl for the first time in 40 years. This classic record, released this June, reimagines Elvis’ blues songs as “searing guitar blues of the highest order.” Available here.

King, Does The King’s Things, Albert King, 1969
Proof, Galcher Lustwerk, 2020

“I’m in New York and I’m Black / I can make beats / I can rap / People be holding me back / I feel like it’s a trap.” — lyrics from “Another Story”, on Galcher Lustwerk’s new release, Proof. Contemplate the post-club world with this new EP out now.

Jeff Mills, the legendary DJ and producer hailing from Detroit and once known as “The Wizard”, has a new release out on Axis, his own record label. But this also led us to discover his Blade Runner-inspired soundtrack, Universe by Night, streaming on Axis Records here.

Still from Blade Runner, via Jeff Mills’ Instagram
Bunker (ft. Shannen SP), Nazar, 2020

In his debut album Guerilla, Angolan artist Nazar reflects on his complex family history during the civil war in Angola. A video for Bunker premiered this month, and features Shannen SP in a film by Rob Heppell. ⁠

“Spotify creative director Oriel Davis-Lyons and The One Club has launched a free, 16-week online portfolio school for Black creatives called One School.”

Image from One School website
Image from Pioneer Works

Pioneer Works’ Director of Music Justin Frye hosts monthly “performances, activations, and residencies that would’ve happened on-site, off-site, or in parallel dimensions” via 8ball Radio. The most recent iteration includes an astounding mix of conversation and music, capped by an after-party set by DJ Royal.

“Some days, the void reflects the unfamiliar anxiety one feels on familiar city streets when strangers pass too closely. It reminds me of suffering, upheaval, loss and mortality, fears stoked wherever one turns.” How has your perception of art in your home or nearby changed during quarantine? Here more thoughts from Miriam Marshall and other artists here.

untitled, Richard Serra, 1990, published by Gemini GEI, created to raise funds for NYC’s Film Forum (image courtesy of Miriam Marshall)

Kellen has been (re)revisiting Kelela’s collab-heavy TAKE ME A_PART, THE REMIXES, a collection of remixes of her 2017 album Take Me Apart. There’s a little something for everyone, and the originals are just as worthy of a listen.

“Solidarity, sustainability and hope,” are key themes throughout the forthcoming 6ft Zine, a forthcoming lockdown-inspired magazine by artist and publisher Theo White.

Image via @6ftzine on instagram
Corso, Kia Tasbihgou

In each volume of A 2 Z 4 U, we feature a new or in-process typeface by a different designer. Corso, designed by Kia Tasbihgou, was “initially inspired by a sketch of a Max Bill typeface based on the concept of ‘optophonetics’, a study in legibility that prioritises the stroke weight of vowels over those of consonants. Corso also takes cues from Joseph Churchward’s ‘Roundsquare’, a design that prioritises geometric rigidity. This rigidity, and Max Bill’s optophonetic study, combine to create something dynamic and unpredictable.” We eagerly await the full release of Corso at Op. Cit. Ibid Type Foundry.

Looking for recipes for all the cucumbers from your farmers market or garden bed? Artist Urs Fischer has the solution for you with his Tofu Cucumber Salad.

Faules Fundament (Rotten Foundation), Urs Fischer, 1998. Courtesy of the artist and Karma Gallery.
Image from Sonde Health Website

Can you tell if someone’s sick just by the sound of their voice? The makers of the Sonde One app claims that changes to a person’s voice, measured by their app, can be used as a secondary test for COVID-19.

What are you seeing outside your window? Share your view, and see others’ views, at WindowSwap, a delightful portal to the world. Shouts to Leonor.

Manasa’s Window via WindowSwap
Poster for Spike Lee film, Malcolm X, Art Sims, 1992, via Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

We’ve been digging up some great images on the Smithsonian archive, and this week we stumbled on the Malcom X movie campaign from Fall 1992. Designed by Art Sims.

In this recent interview on artnet, Anicka Yi shares her perspective on COVID-19 and what it means to be human in relation to a virus, which is technically not alive. Yi’s 2015 exhibition You Can Call Me F was born out of the Ebola virus.

Installation view of You Can Call Me F, Anicka Yi, 2015
Better Is Gold, Enid Ze, (Artwork by Wax Studios), 2020

Enid Ze’s debut EP Better is Gold features songs evoking his suburban adolescence in Harare, Zimbabwe. We’re thrilled to have designed the album cover — listen to it here and watch the video for “Shuwa” by artist Velma Rosai-Makhandia.

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