Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

Charlotte: Explore the Queen City with Google Arts & Culture

Welcome to Charlotte, where the downtown is actually known as “Uptown,” a striking symbol of the New South where traditional industry blends with innovation and creativity. We’re the largest city in North Carolina and the second largest banking center in the country. Forward-thinking and fast-moving, it’s no wonder why 85% of NASCAR teams call our region home. We mix southern charm with cosmopolitan culture, mingle BBQ with banking, and merge competitive sports with fine arts. Now we’re partnering with Google Arts & Culture and 12 other institutions to showcase the best of the Queen City with +3000 images and videos curated into +50 beautiful online stories—all available at g.co/ExploreCharlotte. Here are six ways to discover why we’re fit for royalty:

1. Learn our history.  Did you know that gold was first discovered in Charlotte—not California? History buffs can dive into stories from the Civil Rights Movement with the Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina, or take a virtual tour of the Levine Museum of the New South’s exhibitions, or read city tales and learn why we were named after Queen Charlotte of Britain.

2. Discover what it means to be a Charlottean.The Arts & Science Council wants to introduce you to Charlotte artists of color creating public art,  the Charlotte Symphony would like you to get acquainted with their musicians, and Opera Carolina invites you backstage with their actors. To test your knowledge, see 11 Places Any Charlottean Would Know.

3. Explore our thriving arts scene.The Mint Museum (which aptly occupies an original US mint) boasts a rich collection of everything from costumes to collage. Goodyear Arts’ artist residency program empowers local creators and makers to expand their art practice, while The McColl Center focuses on contemporary artists with immersive exhibitions like “Color for the People.” See the “disco chicken” at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and celebrate African-American artists through the Harvey B. Gantt Center’s stunning collection

4. Cheer on our sports teams.Nobody can leave Charlotte without a great time at a baseball (or football, basketball or hockey!) game. Take a curated tour through 18 iconic race cars at the NASCAR Hall of Fame or enter the stadiums of the Carolina Panthers, Hornets and Checkers.

5. Check out the Queen City’s cuisine. In a city of tastemakers, chefs, mixologists and brewers work to move Charlotte’s gastronomical needle forward.

6. Visit outdoor gemslike the Carolina Raptor Center and learn about North Carolina’s fiercest winged inhabitants, from barn owls to kestrels. Let them open up the magical world of flight, feathers and falcons.

Want to learn more? Visit g.co/explorecharlotte, or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app.

A Creative Summer with Arts & Culture Experiments

With so many artifacts and historic treasures from museums and cultural institutions around the world to explore on Google Arts & Culture, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why our Creative Coders like to experiment with playful tools for you to discover the hidden gems curated by our many partner institutions.

Today we’re launching five new experiencesfor culture lovers of all ages to dive into the collections. Reimagine the world’s most famous paintings in your own color palette  with “Color Hunt”. Ready for a jam session with none other than the master of harmonization himself? Check out “Assisted Melody.” which helps you to create music in the style of Bach. If it’s a virtual round-the-world tour you’re after, team up with Hopper, our penguin guide. Want to flex your creative muscles? Doodle around with “Draw to Art” and see your sketches transform into artworks.

Color Hunt visual

Color Hunt

Have you ever studied a painting and wondered how it would look with a different color palette? With Color Hunt, you can use colors in your own environment to recreate existing artworks, giving yourself a new perspective on the work as well as your own surroundings.


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Assisted Melody

Have you ever wanted to collaborate with Bach on a composition? Now’s your chance: Assisted Melody allows you to compose your own tune on a virtual sheet of music, and with the click of a button make it sound like Bach. No musical knowledge required—we’ve done that for you, by training our machine learning algorithm on the composer’s choral works.

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Draw to Art

Many great works of art started as a sketch, but has a sketch ever been used to search for art? If you’re not sure what that even means, try out Draw to Art. It uses machine learning to match your doodles to paintings, drawings and sculptures with similar shapes. Sketch whatever forms come to mind and see what artworks you discover.
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Hopper, the penguin explorer

Want to discover the pyramids of Giza or visit the Eiffel Tower? Let Hopper the penguin be your guide and show you around some of the most famous places in the world. You can even snap a picture of Hopper and immortalize your favorite virtual trips. And if you’re searching for more fun with our cheeky penguin, here’s a clue: Sometimes he likes to get lost in museums. Follow him on our Family Fun page.

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An Ocean of Books

An Ocean of Books is a new way to explore all kinds of literature and learn fun facts. For example, did you know that Sherlock Holmes never actually said “Elementary, my dear Watson”? Or that the original manuscript for John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men was eaten by the author’s dog Toby? Let our map guide you through a landscape of authors and books, perhaps leading you to your next reading adventure.

If these experiments have whetted your appetite for fun and games, see what you think of our recent collection Play with Arts & Culture, which offers puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of our partner institutions. Try them on your computer via g.co/artgames, or in the Google Arts & Culture app on your mobile.

A digital exhibit to elevate Indigenous art

In March 2020, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney opened to wide acclaim—only to close after 10 days because of COVID-19. The Biennale has since physically reopened to limited audiences, but now, through a virtual exhibit on Google Arts & Culture, people all over the world can experience it. 


This year’s Biennale is led by First Nations artists, and showcases work from marginalized communities around the world, under the artistic direction of the Indigenous Australian artist, Brook Andrew. It’s titled NIRIN—meaning “edge”—a word of Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales.

NIRIN

To commemorate the opening of this unique exhibition, and learn more about its origins and purpose, we spoke with Jodie Polutele, Head of Communications and Community Engagement at the Biennale of Sydney.


Tell us about the theme of this year’s exhibition. 

NIRIN is historic in its focus on the unresolved nature of Australian and global colonial history.  It presents the work of artists and communities that are often relegated to "the edge" and whose practices challenge dominant narratives. 

As a community, we’re at a critical point in time where these voices, histories and spheres of knowledge are being heard and shared. The recent Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and in other parts of the world have triggered a belated awakening in many people—particularly in Australia—about the real-life impacts of systemic racism and inequality. But we have a long way to go, and the art and ideas presented in NIRIN are one way to start (or continue) the conversation.

What does this offer audiences, both in Australia, and all over the world, particularly during this time? 

Many of the artworks ask audiences to be critical of dominant historical narratives, and our own perspective and privilege; we are forced to recognize and question our own discomfort. In doing so, they also present an opportunity to inspire truly meaningful action.


What are some of the highlights of the exhibition?
Some highlights include Healing Land, Remembering Country by Tony Albert, a sustainable greenhouse which raises awareness of the Stolen Generations and poses important questions about how we remember, give justice to and rewrite complex and traumatic histories. Latai Taumoepeau’s endurance performance installation on Cockatoo Island explores the fragility of Pacific Island nations and the struggle of rising sea levels and displacement. Zanele Muholi’s three bodies of work at the Museum of Contemporary Art look at the politics of race, gender and sexuality. Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens’ installation A Dickensian Circus presents a dramatic collection of objects inside the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ grand vestibule, reclaiming the space to share the hidden stories and histories of Indigenous people.

This virtual exhibit was not what you originally imagined. Can you tell us what hurdles you have had to overcome? 

The Biennale of Sydney takes more than two years to produce with a team of dedicated people. Closing the exhibitions and cancelling or postponing a program of more than 600 events was devastating. But with the enormous support of the Google Arts & Culture team, we have delivered a virtual exhibition that is respectful of artists’ works and conveys the true vision of NIRIN—inspiring conversation and action through a meaningful arts experience. We hope that NIRIN on Google Arts & Culture will be an enduring legacy for the exhibition, and also for the talented team who made it happen.

A digital exhibit to elevate Indigenous art

In March 2020, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney opened to wide acclaim—only to close after 10 days because of COVID-19. The Biennale has since physically reopened to limited audiences, but now, through a virtual exhibit on Google Arts & Culture, people all over the world can experience it. 


This year’s Biennale is led by First Nations artists, and showcases work from marginalized communities around the world, under the artistic direction of the Indigenous Australian artist, Brook Andrew. It’s titled NIRIN—meaning “edge”—a word of Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales.

NIRIN

To commemorate the opening of this unique exhibition, and learn more about its origins and purpose, we spoke with Jodie Polutele, Head of Communications and Community Engagement at the Biennale of Sydney.


Tell us about the theme of this year’s exhibition. 

NIRIN is historic in its focus on the unresolved nature of Australian and global colonial history.  It presents the work of artists and communities that are often relegated to "the edge" and whose practices challenge dominant narratives. 

As a community, we’re at a critical point in time where these voices, histories and spheres of knowledge are being heard and shared. The recent Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and in other parts of the world have triggered a belated awakening in many people—particularly in Australia—about the real-life impacts of systemic racism and inequality. But we have a long way to go, and the art and ideas presented in NIRIN are one way to start (or continue) the conversation.

What does this offer audiences, both in Australia, and all over the world, particularly during this time? 

Many of the artworks ask audiences to be critical of dominant historical narratives, and our own perspective and privilege; we are forced to recognize and question our own discomfort. In doing so, they also present an opportunity to inspire truly meaningful action.


What are some of the highlights of the exhibition?
Some highlights include Healing Land, Remembering Country by Tony Albert, a sustainable greenhouse which raises awareness of the Stolen Generations and poses important questions about how we remember, give justice to and rewrite complex and traumatic histories. Latai Taumoepeau’s endurance performance installation on Cockatoo Island explores the fragility of Pacific Island nations and the struggle of rising sea levels and displacement. Zanele Muholi’s three bodies of work at the Museum of Contemporary Art look at the politics of race, gender and sexuality. Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens’ installation A Dickensian Circus presents a dramatic collection of objects inside the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ grand vestibule, reclaiming the space to share the hidden stories and histories of Indigenous people.

This virtual exhibit was not what you originally imagined. Can you tell us what hurdles you have had to overcome? 

The Biennale of Sydney takes more than two years to produce with a team of dedicated people. Closing the exhibitions and cancelling or postponing a program of more than 600 events was devastating. But with the enormous support of the Google Arts & Culture team, we have delivered a virtual exhibition that is respectful of artists’ works and conveys the true vision of NIRIN—inspiring conversation and action through a meaningful arts experience. We hope that NIRIN on Google Arts & Culture will be an enduring legacy for the exhibition, and also for the talented team who made it happen.

Meet Milwaukee: Visit the city with Google Arts & Culture

Did you know that Milwaukee is nicknamed the City of Festivals, and hosts 60 in the summer alone? Or that it was called the “Midwest’s Coolest and Most Underrated City” by Vogue? This summer, Visit Milwaukee is one of 16 institutions partnering with Google Arts & Culture to introduce the world to the Brew City. While our celebrations may look different, we’re bringing our festivities to you. From murals and manufacturing to breweries and fine art museums, here are five reasons you should visit our quirky, dynamic community

1. The people

Milwaukee is alive. The moment you start speaking to Milwaukeeans you encounter people who are curious about the world around them and proud of their city. Radio Milwaukee offers a platform for all sorts of creatives, including female poets during National Poetry Month and high school musicians through their music lab with Grace Weber. Imagine MKE gives us a glimpse into the creative process of Milwaukee artists like muralist Ken Brown or poet Dasha Kelly Hamilton.

2. The places

One of the many things we do at Visit Milwaukee is help Milwaukeeans celebrate the city’s culture of beer gardens and breweries, giving a nod to the wave of German and Eastern-European immigrants whose beer-brewing culture still shapes the city today. Sculpture Milwaukee takes us to the city streets, reminding us via world-class sculpture to be thoughtful and to keep a sense of humor during our daily journeys through the city’s downtown neighborhoods.

3. The masterpieces

Discover the city’s unique museums from the Milwaukee Art Museum (which houses one of the largest U.S. art collections!), to the Grohmann Museum (home to the world’s most comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work). Explore the Haggerty Museum at Marquette University to see 52 works digitized by Google Arts & Culture (including The Philosopher from Rembrandt’s workshop), and tour the Charles Allis Museum’s collection of gem-like paintings (such as Rosa Bonheur’s Head of Roebuck).

4. The performing arts

Between extraordinary performances of actors and musicians in lockdown from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, fun action shots from First Stage performances like “Mariposa” and “Roald Dahl’s Matilda,” and stories from the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra celebrating their students and their community, music and theater lovers make their mark in Milwaukee.

5. The history

Park systems are not only maintainers of outdoor space—they’re the keepers of our collective histories, as well. Milwaukee County Parks gives us glimpses into city life at the turn of the century, and paints familiar places in a new light through its newly-digitized collection of historical postcards and photographs. Milwaukee County Parks is joined in their exploration of history by the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, whose stories of daily life in the 20’s and 30’s let us peek at everything from grocery stores to immigration. Finally, the Milwaukee Public Museum teaches us about Native American history around the Great Lakes and the role native plants played in their societies.

Curious to see more? Stroll around 10 places you wouldn’t expect to be in Milwaukee, or get to know the city’s alphabet by visiting g.co/Milwaukee, downloading the Android or iOS app or visiting Google Arts & Culture

A few inspirations from Google Arts & Culture for your summer vacations

Summer is here. Since many of us are unlikely to venture far amid the global pandemic, Google Arts & Culture and its partners have tried to come up with some unexpected ways to travel the globe. “It’s a Wonderful World” is a new online exhibition that offers some inspiration on what to discover from your home, as well as some ideas for your next trip.  

Climbing to the top of Eiffel Tower or walking around the Statue of Liberty via Street View is a great start, but the real fun begins when you bring these and other icons right into your home. “Paper Giants” is our latest activity for creative travelers. Feeling crafty? Grab a pair of scissors and paper sheets and a ruler, and follow the instructions of British paper artist, Charles, as he recreates miniatures of monumental cultural landmarks from London’s Tower bridge to the Tower of Pisa.

How To Make Your Own Tower of Pisa Out of Paper

A few weeks ago, Indian-American artist Raja Kumari took us on a personal ride to temples in India with “Perspectives”. In time for the summer holidays, Canadian YouTubers The Bee Family follow Raja’s example and invite you on a virtual family vacation to iconic cultural landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and The Bolshoi Theatre. And while The Bee Family explored where they could eventually go, couple Karen & Paul went on a trip down memory lane. Join the two as they relive their Italian honeymoon 25 years ago by revisiting everything from the Colosseum in Rome to the canals of Venice. Feeling inspired? Learn how you can create your very own trip on Google Arts & Culture.

Karen & Paul's Italien Honeymoon

No matter if it's crafting your own Tower of Pisa or going on a virtual family vacation - we hope “It’s a Wonderful World” will remind you that though travelling might not be an option, there is plenty of inspiration for you to plan your next trip - whether it’s a paradise retreat, an outdoors-y adventure, or a cultural city break that you’re after.


And after a good day of summer discoveries, put a cultural spin on game night with “Play with Arts & Culture,” which offers games, puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of hundreds of partner institutions. 


Explore more by downloading the free Google Arts & Culture app, or visit the Google Arts & Culture website.

A look at art in isolation captured on Pixel

Every industry has been affected by COVID-19, and the art world is no exception. Content creation requires a new level of imagination as many artists figure out how to approach their work within the confines of shelter in place.

Google Pixel’s Creator Labs program, an incubator for photographers and directors launched in Q4 2019, faced these new challenges as well. But the program’s simplicity actually aided the artists. Because Pixel was their primary tool, Creator Labs artists were able to explore ideas that came to them in quarantine, through an unfiltered lens. Given Pixel features like 4K video, Portrait Mode and HDR+, no complicated camera setups or highly produced shoots were necessary. 

Many flipped the camera on themselves, exploring the fluid dynamic between artist and muse. Myles Loftin, an artist based in New York who focuses on themes including identity and marginalized people in his work, dug deeper into exploring the importance of intimacy right now. “Taking self portraits has been one of the main things that has helped me pass the time during the last few months.  I feel like being indoors for so long I've been so much more in tune with myself and my body,” Myles says. “The Pixel makes it easy for me to set up really quickly and take self portraits whenever I want.”

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Photo by Myles Loftin

Another artist, who goes by the alias Glassface, took a look at the tension of our new virtual work lives.  “Nothing kills creativity like fear or depression. And often, nothing helps heal and reshape our mental health like creativity itself,” he explains. “Isolation is a tough pill to swallow, but often it breeds incredible work.”

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An excerpt from Glassface's work. 

Other artists featured in the project include Mayan Toledano, June Canedo, Joshua Kissi, Tim Kellner, Andrew Thomas Huang and Anthony Prince Leslie. While quarantine certainly changed how they worked, it also inspired them to investigate this era from a new lens. Anthony perhaps best articulated what the process was like: “Work during quarantine has really changed my perspective. I now remember what it feels like to be present—moving at a pace where there is no peripheral blur on my tunnel vision. As a director, I’m inspired by people and their connections to each other. ” 


You can discover more Pixel-made art, including the work of several Pixel Creator Labs artists, on our Pixel Instagram page

Finding a moment of calm with Yo-Yo-Ma

Evidence shows that culture can be calming, consoling and a source of comfort—for example studies at Harvard have shown creative activities like painting can have a positive effect on health and wellbeing. When lockdown began earlier this year, internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma wanted to share some of the music that was giving him comfort amid the anxiety. So he recorded a performance of Dvořák’s “Going Home” on his phone and shared it on social media with the hashtag #songsofcomfort. Soon, people around the world were chiming in with their own recordings of comforting songs. Others started sharing poetry and art.


Inspired by #songsofcomfort, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma on an online exhibition we’re calling Culture of Comfort. We asked 10 creative individuals to share the art or culture that comforts them. In a series of short films, explorer Erling Kagge speaks about tranquil landscapes, dancer Lil Buck explains the freedom he finds in creative movement, and curator Ana Elena Mallet discusses everyday objects. Each video features cello accompaniment selected and performed by Yo-Yo, all recorded at home during lockdown.
Culture of Comfort - seek comfort in nature with pipa soloist Wu Man

Wu Man who talks about finding comfort in nature and food.

As Yo-Yo put it, if we have culture, “we have the resilience and we have the possibility of rebuilding no matter what comes our way, because we are sustaining one another and together we're stronger.” Explore the online exhibit on Google Arts & Culture starting today.

Unravel the symbols of ancient Egypt

Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, the tool that first unlocked the mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Ancient Egyptians used this writing system more than 4000 years ago to record their stories, but only a select group knew how to read and write them. 

But today, thanks to the new Google Arts & Culture tool Fabricius, anyone can interactively discover this fascinating language by means of three dedicated gateways: First, you can “Learn” about the language of ancient Egypt by following a short educational introduction in six easy steps. Secondly, Fabricius invites you to “Play” and translate your own words and messages into hieroglyphics ready to be shared with your friends and family.

And while Fabricius is your doorway to learn about and write in hieroglyphs, it thirdly offers new avenues for academic research, too. So far, experts had to dig manually through books upon books to translate and decipher the ancient language--a process that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Fabricius includes the first digital tool - that is also being released as open source to support further developments in the study of ancient languages - that decodes Egyptian hieroglyphs built on machine learning. Specifically, Google Cloud's AutoMLtechnology, AutoML Vision, was used to create a machine learning model that is able to make sense of what a hieroglyph is. In the past you would need a team of Data Scientists, a lot of code, and plenty of time, now AutoML Vision allows developers to easily train a machine to recognize all kinds of objects.

Available in English and Arabic, Fabricius is named after the father of epigraphy, the study of ancient inscriptions. We created it in collaboration with the Australian Center for Egyptology at Macquarie University, Psycle Interactive, Ubisoft and Egyptologists from around the globe. 

You can also explore more stories about the wonders of ancient Egypt, including the famous King Tutankhamun, the Pyramids of Giza and the Book of the Dead. And if you’re a teacher using Google Classroom, we’ve created resources on ancient Egypt for you to use, too.

Explore more stories about ancient Egypt by downloading the free Google Arts & Culture app, or visit the Google Arts & Culture website.

Put a cultural spin on game night

We are all curious beings at heart, and play is one of the best ways to learn. That is why we are introducing a few new ways for you to learn more about culture in fun and engaging ways. We are now adding a way to record videos with Art Projector, a tool that uses augmented reality to bring famous artworks to wherever you are. Tap the Camera icon to start recording your thoughts about these paintings, available now in the Google Arts & Culture Android app and coming soon on iOS.

While an Art Projector video is a way for everyone to become an artistic video curator, creative coders in the Google Arts & Culture Lab have come up with some other ideas to learn about arts, culture and history: by playing. The result is our new collection, “Play with Arts & Culture,” which offers games, puzzles and trivia drawn from the cultural treasures of hundreds of partner institutions. Try them on your computer via g.co/artgames, in the Google Arts & Culture Android app, and coming soon for iOS. 

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Puzzle Party

These collaborative jigsaw puzzles are made for family and friends to solve together (or for you to play solo). Dive into the rich detail of over 500 artworks, including Andy Warhol’s “Flowers,” Johannes Vermer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Amy Sherald’s “First Lady Michelle Obama” You can even choose between three different difficulty settings so everyone in the family can pitch in.

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What Came First?

What came first, the Statue of Liberty or the game of volleyball? The faster you select the correct answer, the higher your score. And if you want to dig a little deeper into the history, tap on an item to reveal more information.

Crossword puzzle

Cultural Crosswords 

Cultural Crosswords are a fun way to explore art, history, or themes such as African textiles or yoga postures. Tap on the boxes in the grid to reveal the clue and fill in your solution. Once you’ve got the right answer, you can click through and discover more about it on Google Arts & Culture.

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Visual Crosswords 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So we riffed on the idea of a crossword puzzle to create Visual Crosswords, which you solve with images instead of letters. Figure out where each artwork fits in the grid: Is it Renaissance or Modern? Is it Van Gogh or Gaugin—or both? Drag each one to the correct box and progress through levels of difficulty.

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Art Coloring Book

Van Gogh’s sunflowers might be yellow, but yours don’t have to be. Coloring has always been a favorite activity for children, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among adults looking for some mindful downtime. Exercise your talents and get inspired as you color famous artworks and even landmarks from Street View.

Start creating videos with Art Projector and playing with the Google Arts & Culture Android app—or coming soon on iOS. No matter if you're playing for fun or to learn something new, we hope “Play with Arts & Culture” will help you to further discover the amazing treasures our partners are making available to anyone online.