Since launching in 2010, Colossal has published thousands of articles featuring emerging and established artists. Our goal has always been to support a vast array of creative endeavors and highlight the beauty of the world around us, and we’ve prioritized accessibility to art in all its forms over clicks. Sharing the work of the most exciting artists, photographers, illustrators, and designers who may not receive coverage in the mainstream press is our greatest joy, but we need your help.
Colossal Members are vital to our publication, and yet make up less than .1% of our overall readership. Their contributions directly support our daily operations, from employing contributing writers and two full-time editors to ensuring that our newsletters reach your inboxes. We still have so much more to discover and share with you, but without the continued contributions of Colossal Members, we simply can’t exist.
We’re thrilled to announce that for the first time, you can become a member for as little as $5 a month or $60 a year. You can read Colossal and our newsletters ad-free and get access to all additional member benefits. Join today and support the creative stories that matter most. We’re so glad you’re out there reading. ❤️
This Week Only: Win Cool Stuff
Become a Colossal Member at any level between 12 a.m. Monday, March 7, and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, and you’ll be entered to win one of four amazing artworks, books, and other fun things from some of our favorite creators. No purchase necessary.
- A 5,000-piece CMYK jigsaw puzzle by Clemens Habicht
- A OneClock, the analog alarm that never plays the same melody twice
- The full 7-volume set of Hilma af Klint’s Catalogue Raisonné
- A whimsical paper-pulp mobile from Yuko Nishikawa’s Washed Blueberries series
More Member Perks ✨
All paid Colossal Membership tiers receive the following benefits:
- An ad-free reading experience on Colossal and in our newsletters
- Discounts from The Sketchbook Project, The Hyperallergic Store, Knit-Wise, The Jaunt, 20×200, Create! Magazine, and the Booooooom Shop
- Early access to our quarterly print release. Keep an eye out for our next edition by Tiffany Bozic this March
- A members-only newsletter with sneak-peeks into upcoming events, news, and of course, plenty of giveaways
Support Independent Publishing, Education, and Your Arts Community
In 2021, Colossal Members purchased nearly $1,500 of art supplies through DonorsChoose, and we just surpassed 50 classrooms across all eight areas of support. One percent of membership fees are is always allocated to students.
Colossal Members additionally donated $575 to six arts nonprofits and helped us pay photographers thousands of dollars to license their images. They also supported the launch of our monthly Opportunities for Artists, an article and newsletter devoted to helping creatives find funding and platforms to showcase their work.
What’s Next for 2022
- More upgrades: We just moved to a new server and newsletter service, and we’re reducing trackers and cookies to work toward a privacy-focused reading experience.
- A Colossal Speaker Series: We’re organizing talks, studio tours, workshops, panels, and more with some of the most exciting and engaging artists.
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We’re launching London Art & Culture, a new weekly roundup of exhibition openings, artists talks, and other fun events occurring around the city. Similar to our edition focused on Chicago, we’ll share a short list of three to five happenings each Thursday that fall in the realm of art, design, and visual culture. We’ll also include news about our partnerships and words from our friends all over the U.K. Sign up here.
If you have an event you’d like us to consider or are interested in sponsoring this newsletter, submit your idea to [email protected].
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Putt Around the Playable Artworks of 'Par Excellence Redux: The Back 9,' Now Open at Elmhurst Art Museum
The Back 9 of Par Excellence Redux, an artist-designed miniature golf course, is now open at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson as part of an open call, the exhibition of playable artworks pays homage to the incredibly popular Par Excellence, which opened in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Back 9, which runs through January 2, 2022, includes artists Wesley Baker, KT Duffy, Eve Fineman, Joshua Kirsch, Annalee Koehn, Vincent Lotesto, Joshua Lowe, Jim Merz, David Quednau, Donna Piacenza, and Liam Wilson & Anna Gershon. This round features a wide array of designs like a mirrored room in which the green spreads out into infinity, a community garden in waiting, and Koehn’s fortune-telling piece first shown 33 years ago in the initial exhibition.
Chicago sculptor Michael O’Brien conceived of the original Par Excellence, which opened to lines down the block and subsequently sold out daily. It was recognized nationally in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune, among others, and went on tour throughout Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial project called ArtGolf, which was located at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park on the site that’s now occupied by Goose Island Brewery.
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Interview: Chicago's Manual Cinema Reveals How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New 'Candyman'
Having already made box-office history, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (2021) is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history as it not only critically considers racial violence and the city’s problems with gentrification but also draws in local artists, like the prolific and talented team behind the performance collective Manual Cinema. In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson talks with co-artistic director Drew Dir about the studio’s role in the cult classic horror film, from the production process to using a traditionally lighthearted medium to convey such complex and traumatic stories:
By telling those stories through shadow puppetry, which is about as far from naturalism or realism as you can get, I think that gave (DaCosta) a way to represent that legacy of violence but also filter it through the critical lens of metaphor. The puppets allow the viewer to keep a critical distance (that’s something that puppets historically have been very good at!) and to consider the historical and social forces at play, so the viewer doesn’t lose themself in too much repulsion or fascination with blood and gore.
In the conversation, Dir discusses the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets as a major component of a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and what the studio is working on next.
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Interview: Sara Hagale Discusses the Therapeutic Nature of Her Practice and Why She Doesn't Think About Authenticity
Considering their undeniable relatability, it’s no surprise that Sara Hagale’s witty, whimsical, and at times anxious drawings have amassed an incredible following in recent years, a topic she speaks to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Her body of work is broad and idiosyncratic, spanning fanciful bouquets of leggy flowers to smudged self-portraits to quirky characters struggling through life, and it offers an array of emotional and aesthetic nuances that are unique to the artist.
I don’t have to feel goofy all the time in order to still be me. And I’m allowed to draw something that feels right to me in that moment even if it doesn’t match up perfectly with the other work I produce.
In a conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, Hagale discusses using her practice to process her emotions in real-time, the impossibility of authenticity, and why she prefers to work with limitations.
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Interview: The Sketchbook Project Needs Help After Its Brooklyn Collection Grows to 55,000 Globally Submitted Books
Fifteen years ago, Steven Peterman launched The Sketchbook Project, an ongoing initiative he discusses in a new interview with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. The project, which gathers sketchbooks filled with artwork and stories from people around the globe, has since grown into the Brooklyn Art Library, and today, that collection boasts approximately 55,000 submissions.
The physical collection is an incredible creative resource. There is so much artwork from varying skill levels and artists of all ages, but there are also stories, secrets, hopes, and fears that create a magical exchange between the participant who created the book and the reader who is viewing it in person.
In the conversation supported by Colossal Members, Peterman talks about the challenges of maintaining the collection and its robust community during the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s on the horizon for the project as it changes its funding model.
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Editor's Picks: Illustration
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.