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Aha Moments in Aarhus

by Joyce McGreevy on February 6, 2017

A kayaker savors an aha moment at sunset in Aarhus, where the 2017 European Capital of Culture will celebrate community connection to nature. (Image © Anders Hede/VisitAarhus)

A quiet sunset before the start of Aarhus 2017, a yearlong series of events
to celebrate community by rethinking it. 
© Anders Hede/VisitAarhus

Can we celebrate community by rethinking it?

The aha moments began at dawn with a mass bicycling event. As cyclists of all ages glided by, the winter mist rose like a curtain, revealing the newest European Capital of Culture. Aarhus 2017 had launched.  All year, this small Danish city will celebrate community by rethinking it.

Celebrations continued into the night, with songs lifted by the wind to soar above the crowds. As six Viking ships set sail, hundreds of choral singers and thousands of locals, each carrying illuminated paper ships, transformed the port into a sea of lights.

Creative Thinking
in Copenhagen

by Joyce McGreevy on December 5, 2016

A cyclist crosses a bridge between islands in Copenhagen, an example of the Danish design that makes this city a Capital of Creative Thinking. (Image © Copenhagen Media Center and Thomas Høyrup Christensen)

Cycle from one island to another in Denmark’s capital city.
© Copenhagen Media Center/ Thomas Høyrup Christensen

The Danish Design of Everyday Life

On a map, Denmark’s 400+ islands resemble a dropped plate. It’s a fitting symbol, considering how Danish design breaks the mold. To the east spanning several islands is Copenhagen—arguably, the Capital of Creative Thinking.

“Danish design” connotes minimalist beauty—Arne Jacobsen’s famous “Egg” chair, Poul Henningsen’s pendant lamps, and other streamlined functional objects.

It doesn’t take a tour of Designmuseum Danmark to recognize that Copenhageners appreciate sophisticated simplicity.

Examples of minimalist furniture and lighting, that reflects the creative thinking of Danish design. (Image © Copenhagen Media Center and Morten Bjarnhof)

Danish design is known the world over.
© Copenhagen Media Center/ Morten Bjarnhof

On London Streets: Gum Globs Become Art

by Sheron Long on February 17, 2015

Street art showing a surreal figure smoking with cigarette butts and dropped gum littering the sidewalk in front. (Art © Otto Schade; photo © Sheron Long)

Cigarette butts and gum litter are the bane of London’s walkways. Is there a creative solution?
art © Otto Schade; photo © Sheron Long

Ben Wilson Gives Us Something to Chew On

Gum litter is a problem you step into quite unknowingly. It’s a worldwide issue, but when in London, where 3.5 billion pieces of gum end up as litter every year, chances are you’ll sense the problem up close and personal, like on your shoe.

When this happens, most of us utter an epithet, get out of the sticky situation, and go on our way. But Londoner Ben Wilson, an outsider artist, has a more creative reaction. He transforms the disgusting gum globs into tiny underfoot paintings—spots of color that delight the eye of passersby.

Sidewalk with several gum globs, one of which has been painted by Ben Wilson, a London street artist. (Art © Ben Wilson; photo © Sheron Long)

The prettiest gum glob on the block
art © Ben Wilson; photo © Sheron Long

Two gum splotches side by side, one of which has been painted by street artist Ben Wilson. (Art © Ben Wilson; photo © Sheron Long)

When painted, litter becomes art.
art © Ben Wilson; photo © Sheron Long

Wilson’s street art highlights the problem of gum litter by juxtaposing a thoughtless act with an act of beauty.

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