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GreenBox Art + Culture

  • Every Day is Earth Day (no, really!)

    We've all heard the expression, "Every day is Earth Day!" It's such a sweetly hopeful saying. If only that were true--if only every day really were a day when people across the globe are hyper-aware of the impact we have on our planet. The fact is, though, that Earth Day is over until next year.

    Well, almost.

    There's a movement called A Billion Acts of Green!® that challenges people to register their pledge to perform an "act of green," like biking to work or planting a garden. The goal is, you guessed it, to get a billion pledges to the site. That's a lot of pledges, right? You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that as of this writing, 968,867,575 pledges have been recorded. What a way to keep Earth Day going.

    While you're on the site, stop by the Ecological Footprint Calculator. It doesn't take too long to create your avatar and answer a few questions to figure out the size of your carbon footprint. Pretty eye-opening. We walk a lot, recycle and generally try to be aware of the planet, and yet our results informed us that "If everyone lived like you, we'd need 4.5 Planet Earths to provide enough resources." Um, sorry about that, Mother Earth. We pledge to do better.

    After all, "Green" is our first name.

  • Will Powered - Cancer for College

    On Saturday, April 14th, Will Ferrell came to our beautiful land of Saint Diago (San Diego for you non-Anchorman obsessed friends) to raise money for a very noble cause, and our adventurous founders got to participate. Will even signed some of our awesome Wheatpaste Posters that Stick to auction at the event. Cancer for College is a non-profit corporation run by Will's close friend and college buddy Craig Pollard. Craig, himself, is a cancer survivor- and he's made it his mission to help raise college funds for cancer survivors and amputees. College can definitely take a backseat in expenses when costs fighting cancer mount up.

    Will and Craig have teamed up, yet again, to find a way to help raise money for this noble cause. The latest event involved two double decker buses, and what San Diego has on tap- craft beer! Tom and Karen, GreenBox's founders, got to join the fun and have a few laughs. Even San Diego's mayor, Jerry Sanders, stopped by in support of the cause.

    So far, Cancer for College has provided over $1.5 million in scholarships to nearly 900 cancer survivors through many events similar to this. So, raise your glass for a toast to Craig Pollard and Will Ferrell- changing people's lives.

    Donate here!

  • The Layered Look

    Here's something we've been liking lately; the look of layered artwork. Several pieces are diplayed together, overlapping one another. This is most often done on a shelf, table, or mantle, but it looks terrific on the wall as well. The point is to group several things you really love: it shows not only your eye for art but is a nod to the depth of your collection, as well.

    This look is delightfully simple to pull together on your own. Choose a theme, like family photos, kids artwork, or nature scenes. Or the theme can be more visual than subject-matter, like reds or shapes. Then trace each piece onto newspaper and try "hanging" them in different configurations until you find one you like. (Or, if they're going on a shelf, just try combinations until you find the one you like best.) With this layered style, less is very often more, so be careful not to put too many together or overlap so much that the art itself is obscured.

    At Green Box, we've made it super-straightforward to select a grouping. You can narrow your search by color, artist, or theme. It's a way to gather an instant collection of items that have an eclectic connection.


  • Bird(nest) Brain

    When we sat down to write this post, we were totally distracted by tweeting. Not the online kind (though that distracts us from work sometimes, too!), but the cheeping and chattering kind. We opened the window to yell "How's a blogger supposed to get anything done?" when we saw it--a group of industrious birds in the bushes, chit-chatting. And we thought, "Ah, Spring! Can a nest be far behind?" And the mood changed immediately.

    We'll keep an eye on that bush for you and let you know when/if a nest appears, but in the meantime, here are some beautiful hand-made nests to tide you over:

    These crocheted birds' nests are absolutely darling. Especially once you realize that this one is pictured along with instructions to make them for actual rescued animals. Talk about being useful as well as ornamental. Almost makes us want to take up crocheting.

    The pearl-filled nests look a little more straightforward, and they result in jewelry for human use rather than homes for wild animal use. These wire nests were created in only a couple steps, and the instructions are very clear. Mother's Day gifts, anyone?

    Here's another hand-made nest that is just breathtaking. Artist Fiona Heron uses bronze, aluminum or polished steel to make these, and they're for indoor or outdoor display. Can you imagine the art-in-action that would result if a discerning bird actually built a nest using one of these as a base?

    Speaking of art in action, of course here at Green Box we have all sorts of bird-themed canvas wall art to choose from--several dozen, to be exact. How about Welcome to Our NestIntricate Bird or One Willow? That's what we love about birds and nests: they're like fine art in nature, and we love seeing them as fine art for walls.

    Thanks for the inspiration, birdies!






  • Reclamation

    There aren't many upsides to the foreclosure crisis. But there is a movement in the design world to at least make sure the loss buildings through foreclosure and demolition isn't a total loss. It's called deconstruction, and it results in some beautiful, meaningful furniture.

    Here's what it is. Instead of demolishing a structure, which results in pretty much everything being destroyed, a deconstruction involves taking the structure apart. Anything that can be salvaged, like cabinets and light fixtures, is. Then it's sold or donated. It makes sense on a lot of levels, not the least of which is the saving and re-use of hardwoods. Floors, beams and paneling have new life as interesting, useful, often beautiful objects.

    Cleveland, Ohio has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. They also have a terrifically innovative company known as A Piece of Cleveland, or APOC. APOC creates industrial-looking furnishings like tables and chairs, as well as cutting boards. Over on etsy, there's an artist named Robert Kanne from Omaha, Nebraska who makes very cool endtables, among other things. He gets his wood from EcoStores Nebraska, a non-profit that's in the repurposing trade. EcoStores also sells some repurposed items like doorknob coat hangers.

    A good place to start if you're looking for reclaimed-wood items is on, sort of a clearinghouse between deconstructors and upcycling artists, like Fern Handcrafted Furniture in New York state.

  • Easter Egg Art

    For those who celebrate it, Easter eggs may be the best accoutrement of the holiday. Even those who don't celebrate Easter can get in on the springtime fun of decorating eggs.

    But let's think outside the carton for a moment, shell we? (sorry, but that was worth it, right?) This year, we're all about trying something new instead of the same old tried-and-true white vinegar and fizzy tablet method for decorating Easter eggs. Some of our current favorites are ones we can do ourselves, others are by artists that we can merely admire, while still others (and these are our faves, always) are ones we can buy.

    Easter Egg Art We Can Do Ourselves: Well, OK, not this self. But maybe yourself. These knitted eggs are absolutely adorable in a bowl or on a branch. And these fabric eggs would be so cute tucked in a carton as a centerpiece. The quilled paper eggs will take longer, perhaps, but maybe an enterprising child could help out. The color combinations for each of these would be endless. The links will take you to how-tos.

    Easter Egg Art We Can Merely Admire: Check out these embroidered eggs by Ukranian artist Forostyuk Inna. Apparently they're duck eggs, not chicken, so the shell is stronger, but beyond that, we have no idea how it's done. Beautiful.

    Easter Egg Art We Can Buy: Yippee! These chenille eggs are available on etsy. So cute.

    Egg Art Canvas Wall Art That's Suitable Year-Round: We love the look and the sentiment of this cheery piece by Shelly Kennedy. Even when Easter is long-gone, it will fill us with hope for Spring!


    ps- Check out the blog on our sister site,, for some simple ideas for decorating eggs with kids!




  • Modern Home Decor - "Fundamentally Unruly"

    If you're as mesmerized by the intricate details of Amy Genser's artwork as we are, you'll be glad to hear you may view many of her works in person this weekend. Her coiled paper upon painted backgrounds is so striking, that to get an up-close and personal viewing is quite an opportunity. Mark Jenkins from The Washington Post said it best... "the more three-dimensional it is, the closer Genser’s art comes to its natural inspiration, whose beauty is fundamentally unruly."

    The Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City has inspirational home finds for every part of your living space- from kitchen, to bath, to that poor neglected corner of your foyer! If you're in the vicinity of the Home Design Show, it would most definitely be time well spent finding out the latest ideas and products for the home. Original works by Amy Genser will not disappoint!

    Show admission information:

    Pier 94 (12th Ave. at 55th St.), New York City

    Booth #M80

    March 22-25, 2012


  • Tangerine Dream

    Yep, there it is. The color of the year, Pantone 17-1463, otherwise known as "Tangerine Tango." Says who? Says the folks at Pantone (in what's got to be the ultimate chicken-and-egg scenario of the design world). "Vivacious and appealing," they call it, and we'll go with that.

    Especially since we just happen to own an adorable belted trench in that very color. Who knew?

    Anyhow, Pantone names a new color every year, and then a whole lot of other people--designers, paint-mixers, artists, advertisers, etc--throw that color into their professional palettes. (See what we mean about the chicken-and-egg thing?)

    At GreenBox Art + Culture, we're all about personal style, which means picking and choosing the trends you want to add into your daily life. Because wall art is the perfect way to do that. That's why we make it extra easy on you--did you know you can search for the perfect piece by color? It's the ideal way to narrow down the hundreds of choices we offer.

    If you want to add a pop of this year's hottest hue, you can't borrow our belted trench, but you can find tangerine-infused canvas wall art in a variety of styles. Like Deborah Brenner's perfectly named Tangerine Pops, or Prolifik by Jennifer Mercede, or even a Gila Monster by Andrea Cobb.

    Just click on the color button in the SHOP + SORT BY column and you're off and running. Or tango-ing.

  • Blame It On the Rain

    Perhaps it's because it's raining outside as we write this, but our thoughts are on rain. And water. It is March, after all, and the colors of our days are as saturated as a Flora Bowley painting.

    And if you're in the Stockton, California area in March, there's a very interesting art exhibit that centers around water--specifically, the water of the San Joaquin Delta--that you may want to check out. Called Delta Waters, it's a collection of eight site-specific works that explore the human impact on the Delta region, along with its preservation and beauty. There are textiles by Linda Gass, photos by Esmeralda Ruiz and sound by water and eco-artist Basia Ireland, but our favorite just might be the OPENrestaurant collective's tap-water tasting. The exhibit is at the Delta Center for the Arts' LH Horton Jr. Gallery, at San Joaquin Delta College.

    While water's still on your mind, check out charity:water, a non-profit organization that gives 100% of its donations to fund clean water throughout the world. Their logo is a Jerry can, that bright-yellow container that's used for gasoline or water. If you like the charity, you can start others talking about it by wearing some of their Jerry-can gear, including T-shirts and a striking silver pendant.

    Between Delta Waters and charity:water, you may never look at rain in the same way again.

  • Eye to Eye

    Our newest design obsession involves combining trompe l'oeil furniture with super-realistic wall art.

    Trompe l'oeil, of course, is a type of art or design that looks like something it isn't. French for "fool the eye," trompe l'oeil is perhaps best explained by way of Pere Borrell del Caso's 1874 painting Escaping Criticism, with an artist jumping out of a frame.

    Furniture in the trompe l'oeil style can be incredibly clever, like Nendo's clear plastic chairs finished with varnish to look like they're disappearing. Or Fernando Brízio's "What You See Is Not" cabinet--a vinyl decal that looks like a side table with an actual drawer extending from the wall, ideal for a book or two.

    The reason we like the idea of trompe l'oeil furniture paired with realistic art is that the mash-up is the opposite of what most people's brains have come to expect. Usually it's the art that's visually tricky and the furniture that grounds us in reality. Once the mind settles on what it's seeing, ie, abstract furniture paired with realistic art, the scene becomes cleverly amusing.

    Here at Green Box, check out our selection by Judith Jarcho. She's got lettuce leaves that will make your mouth water and weathered barns that'll make you think you hear a chicken clucking. Displayed over a piece of trompe l'oeil furniture, this canvas wall art will prove that you not only have impeccable taste, but a sense of humor as well.


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