Thinking outside the box

The print product got a makeover. So did the Web site. Naturally, we couldn’t leave our beloved newspaper boxes out in the cold. (Well, no more than we usually do as they are typically found outside.)

We asked a handful of local artists to think outside the box by seeing what they could do with a box. What happened next was pure magic. You’ll see these useable works of art sitting around town (locations available on the adjoining map) but for the full story on the designs, check out these artists’ bios.

Baxter Crane

Baxter CraneBaxter Crane has lived in Georgia all her life, growing up in Paulding County and eventually pursuing a BFA from Kennesaw State. It took some time, but Crane eventually moved into the metro-area (with help from some friends) and found a gallery (Beep Beep!) to share her vision with the city. Crane also belongs to a group called Dashboard, a fast-growing Atlanta artist collective created her friends Courtney and Beth.

Crane would consider her style to be more illustrative than painterly. You’ll see she enjoys the tiny details, and like most tortured artist, obsessing to the point of frustration. “I can't seem to create anything without absolutely hating it for a while,” Crane says. Her subjects usually revolve around putting creatures in situations that they normally wouldn't be in or with objects they wouldn't ever really be around. (Like dinosaurs and iPods, for instance.) “It’s cute to me and kind of scary to know that nature could really care less about all our stuff or us, for that matter,” Crane says. “Not to sound morbid or anything, I love nature! I wouldn't paint so much of it if I didn't.”

Currently, you can find Crane in East Lake with her two cats, Hooray and Fiasco. She also bartends in L5P.


Lucha Rodriguez

Lucha RodriguezLucha Rodriguez was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She earned a BFA in graphic design from the Art Institute of Atlanta, and an MFA in printmaking from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She has produced various “pink projects,” ranging from etchings, monoprints, serigraphy and immersive surreal environments. Rodriguez develops series of organ-inspired “Creaturettes,” which expand into her own extravagant symbolism related to the body as an internal space. At present, her focus is on sculptural wall pieces combined with audio. Her work is evolving in a direction that encourages viewer interaction within her seductive pink creations.

on the web » www.love-lucha-now.org


Tedwood Strong

Tedwood StrongTedwood Richard Strong II is a product of Colorado Springs, Colo., but New Hampshire is the place he calls home. He enjoys watching terrible movies, pretending to be an intellectual and window-shopping in meat markets despite his vegetarianism. That’s just how he rolls. The inspiration for Strong comes from an experience during his youth in which he was forced to watch his family being mauled to death and eaten by wild roosters. To this day, he still cries every time he passes a KFC.


Paper Twins

Paper TwinsNica and Edgar A. English met each other while making coffee. Their love for Os Mutantes, Manu Chao, French films and river dancing brought them together. It was clearly love at first cream and sugar. Their friendship grew so strong that they started to dress alike. During the summer of 2009 (a time of Trader Joe's wine, tree climbing and biking), they started to make art and decided to share it with the world. They needed a venue for their vision, and what better way than to grab people’s attention than by putting their art on the streets.

They needed a name. So, taking Os Gemeos as an inspiration, they decided to call themselves Paper Twins. Since then, Nica and Edgar have been busy making art for the streets and now for galleries. They still make coffee together and suck at latte art.

Nica is a Peru-born, Atlanta-based artist and illustrator, who in 2006 received a scholarship to attend Savannah College of Art & Design for illustration. She also produces work for galleries. Her solo show, Pintame Feliz, appeared at Vacation Gallery and Boutique last year, and she was part of the Not You show at MINT Gallery, and the collaborative installation "Here We Hide" at MINT with Joe Tsambiras and Sam Parker. Edgar A. English is an Atlanta-based visual artist, who received a BFA in painting and printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2005. She has been involved in numerous group shows at venues such as MINT Gallery, Young Blood Gallery, E. Gordon Gallery (Cleveland), the Reinburger Gallery (Cleveland), and had a solo show at Relapse Theater in 2006. She taught "Young People's Classes" at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 2002-2004.


Allen Taylor

Allen TaylorAllen Taylor grew up away from the mean streets of Atlanta in the suburbs on the mean streets of Lawrenceville. He’s been drawing for a long time but never really meant end up on this path. “I used to be a writer, but somehow drawing took over my life,” Taylor says. He’s only taken two art classes since middle school but still finds art consuming his time. He is the main designer for Double Phantom Records and even made the cover for the Creative Loafing story on the label in December. His touch on music doesn’t only extend to the cover of albums. Taylor also plays keyboards and sampler in the band Roman Photos. And if you’re looking for him, you’re likely to find Taylor walking around. It’s someone he enjoys just as much as creating a box for your viewing pleasure.


R. Land

R. Land You may not be familiar with the name R. Land, but his work should be recognizable. His style has graced the cover of the New York Press, covered the walls of local restaurants like Righteous Room and even been featured on an Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD. The reach of the Jacksonville native may have been most felt with his “Lost Cat” flyers which wandered the streets of Atlanta and all the way to Seattle.

R. Land’s distinctive brand of cartoons recall visions of Ren & Stimpy with just a dose of subtext. The box he’s created echoes his familiar style and unique vision.

on the web » www.thislandisrland.com


Esperanza Atlanta

Esperanza ATLEsperanza is a burgeoning Atlanta-based apparel and design company started in the mid 2000’s by Bart Sasso, Daniel Barbalho, and Eric Kelly. Through unrelenting passion, determination, and self-reliance Esperanza has quickly risen to prominence in an emerging scene of Atlanta creatives. What began as hand-printed t-shirts and an uncanny knack for self-promotion eventually paved the way for more grand opportunities and contractual design work for some of the city’s most reputable establishments (Atlanta Spirit, Zoo Atlanta, Creative Loafing, etc…). As the company and its mission continue to evolve, and with successes like the ATL Hold it Down foam hand sweeping the city and garnering national attention, Esperanza’s momentum and reach have never been greater. Our goal is to become an iconic lifestyle brand synonymous with Southern culture through design, apparel, and exploration into an increasing number of creative mediums.

We have always thought that Creative Loafing Distribution Boxes act as “watering holes” where citizens of Atlanta who value independent thought converge on a weekly basis. As such, the box’s surface offers and an ideal platform for various self-promoters and vandals to broadcast their message through stickering and tagging. Since we’re no strangers to this practice, it served as inspiration for the box we designed. Completely wrapped in over 400 hand-cut stickers of various symbols central to the Esperanza brand, our box is an ode to this guerilla style of promotion and a nod to Creative Loafing’s power of dissemination in an age where newspapers are increasingly less relevant.

On the web » esperanza-atl.com