Beychella. That’s All.

If you missed Beyonces’s two-hour set at Coachella this past weekend, shame on you. The Queen Bee made history.

She is the first African American woman to headline the festival (and made a comment on that point). She was accompanied by 150-plus performers, most if not all of whom were people of color; many of those performers were part of a marching band, majorettes and drumline styled on those from black colleges and universities, and she and her performers often wore collegiate-type outfits bearing the Greek letters beta delta and kappa, her initials with the delta referencing her favored number, four; and the set was loaded with references and quotes from the likes of Malcolm X and Nina Simone.

Today, she took it one step further.

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Yonce revealed that the set’s collegiate theme was pointing to a scholarship program: Through her BeyGOOD initiative, the singer announced the four schools to receive the newly established Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Universities, Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman, are all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

One winner from each school will receive $25K for the 2018-2019 academic year for study in various fields. This is the second year for a scholars program created by the singer: The Formation Scholars Awards Program, a merit scholarship program was established in April 2017 in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Beyonce’s 2016 album “Lemonade.” The awards encouraged and supported “young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident and unafraid to think outside of the box.”

The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for 2018-2019 will expand to all qualifying students at the four universities, regardless of gender. The disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. All finalists and winners will be selected by the universities. Winners will be announced in the summer.

 

 

McDonald’s Lavish ‘Bling Mac’ Ring Could Be Yours

This Valentine’s Day, how will you show your love for McDonald’s Big Mac?

Let’s see … you could eat a Big Mac, of course. Or maybe a Grand Big Mac. Or even a Big Mac Jr. Or you can save yourself all those empty calories by playing a pair of brand-boosting games. (Kidding, of course. This stuff is health food, at least compared to the chocolate shakes.)

If you’re feeling poetic, try composing a few lines of love to the sandwich on Twitter for a chance to win the “Bling Mac.” That’s an 18k gold, stackable ring with seven tiers of gems representing Big Mac ingredients, including orange sapphires as the special sauce:

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 Only one burger buff will win the Bling-y thing-y, designed by Nadine Ghosn and valued at $12,500. Do you love it?

You Can Paint Like A Legend

You don’t have to be an art expert to be familiar with Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, “The Scream.” If you aren’t familiar, here’s a refresher:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

Munch is making news that turns the focus away from big-ticket sales and thrilling heists and back to the nuts-and-bolts of his artistic process. Munch Museet, the Oslo-based museum responsible for safeguarding the artist’s archive, has teamed up with Adobe, the mega-software company behind Photoshop, to bring Munch’s paint brushes back to life.


In an effort to promote one artist’s legacy—and, of course, to launch a saleable product—they retrieved seven of Munch’s brushes from the depths of climatized storage and transformed them into digital tools.


When Munch died in 1944 at the age of 80, he left around 1,150 paintings, 17,800 prints, 4,500 watercolors, 13 sculptures, a stash of drawings, and the contents of his Norwegian studio to the city of Oslo. This massive trove included several of Munch’s masterpieces, as well as the paints and brushes he used to make them.


While Munch’s canvases are regularly on view in museums around the world, his materials rarely see the light of day, due to their inherent fragility. Photo documentation of the tools isn’t readily available to the public, either. Up until now, the only visual evidence of Munch’s process online has existed in several grainy, black-and-white photos of his studio.


Starting last year, Adobe and the Munch Museum set out to give Photoshop and Sketch users a first-hand understanding of the artist’s process. Their approach was unorthodox and unprecedented: Transform Munch’s age-old brushes into digital mark-making tools. When taken up by Photoshop- and Sketch-savvy millennials, the brushes would have the ability to imitate the artist’s strokes.


The custom brushes have been licensed by Adobe and used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists the world over. Wired reported that Webster made over $100,000 in 2013 alone selling his virtual brush packs.


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These custom brushes double as a marketing campaign for both Adobe and the Munch Museet. But they also connect a vital art-historical practice to contemporary artmaking in the digital age. the future of art.


This, my friends, is the future of art.

IBM Watson is an Art Instructor…and I Love It

Almost three-quarters of Brazilians have never been inside a museum, according to a 2010 study from the Brazilian Institute of Economic Research. There are probably many reasons for this, but among them is the feeling that art can seem inaccessible unless you’ve studied it.

For the launch of IBM Watson in Brazil, Ogilvy Brazil created an interactive guide that lets people have conversations with work housed at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo Museum. “The Voice of Art” replaces pre-recorded audio guides with a Watson-powered program that gleans data from books, old newspapers, recent articles, biographies, interviews and the internet.

It took IBM six months to teach Watson how to make sense of all that content. Hosted on cloud platform IBM Bluemix, its AI capabilities were put to work answering spontaneous questions about art by renowned Brazilian creators like Cândido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral and José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior.

Witness the magic below:

I recently got to experience this technology hands on. IBM is sponsoring “Art with Watson,” a special exhibit at the Cadillac House gallery, 330 Hudson Street, in New York City’s SOHO through 4.7.

The show includes portraits of pioneers of science, society, business and design — including Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Josephine Baker, Thomas J. Watson and Paul Rand — all created by modern artists with the help of IBM Watson technology. Watson provided the artists with unusual insights into each subject – from Nikola Tesla’s patents and journals, to Marie Curie’s correspondence with her children.

The exhibit also features a “cognitive photobooth” that puts Watson in the hands of individual attendees. Based on responses to a series of questions, Watson creates a personal portrait with the same APIs used to create the gallery portraits. Check mine out below and learn more about Art with Watson here.

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