NASA Art Contest, A Creative Case for the FBI, and 800 Pounds of Butter!

Happy Friday artists, art lovers, and parents of creative kids and teens! Welcome to Art Club: Sparketh’s new weekly round-up of the latest in art news, creative resources, trending art challenges (and more.) If you love the arts and creativity, you’re in the right place.

Today: we’re sharing NASA’s current art contest, discussing an FBI art case that Indiana Jones would love, and ogling at an 800 pound hunk of butter art.

Featured Art Contest: NASA Art Contest for Kids Age 4 -12

Art and science have a lot more in common than many people may think. Both involve testing theories, exploring curiosity, and making constant innovations. In recent years, NASA (you’ve probably heard of them) has been making an effort to engage the next generation of creative minds. And of course, that includes your artistically-minded kids and students!

Right now and through October 27, NASA is hosting an art contest for kids, age 4 – 12!  Students can take inspiration from 4 main topics:

  • Rockets and Spacecraft
  • Living and Working in Space
  • Exploring the Solar System
  • Astronauts

There are three separate submission categories for the contest (based on age of the child submitting), and each category will have a 1st and 2nd place prize.  The winning artwork will be featured in a NASA calendar! You can find out more about contest rules and submission guidelines in the link below.

NASA Art Contest Rules and Submissions

Art News: The Case of the Mysterious Medusa Mosaic!

It sounds like a Nancy Drew novel, or maybe an Indiana Jones movie,  but it’s current news in the art world! The FBI recently discovered an ancient Italian mosaic which has been missing for decades.  The 2oo-pound mosaic of Medusa was discovered in a Los Angeles storage building, where the FBI determined it has been concealed since the 1980s!  No one knows how the owner of the storage unit obtained the mosaic, although the piece last appeared in cultural property records in 1909.

The enormous mosaic piece was cut (and stored) as 16 separate pieces. When put together, it reportedly forms an image of  Medusa–the monstrous, snake-haired Gorgon of ancient mythology.

Special agents Elizabeth Rivas and Allen Grove worked to investigate the mosaic and return it to its place of origin. They collaborated with Italian officials to return the fragile artifact to Rome, where it will be studied and carefully restored.

According to special agent Grove (via CNN): “The mosaic was handcrafted from an age where people put an amazing amount of care and effort into it. It really speaks to the ingenuity and creativity of the time,” Grove said. “It’s not meant to be in Los Angeles. The mosaic belongs to the people of Rome. It allows us to understand a bit about the history of humans 2,000 years ago.”

One day, maybe we’ll see a photo of the fully restored mosaic art. Maybe we’ll even discover more about it’s cultural significance to Rome!

As for me and my mystery-loving brain… I want to know about the mosaic’s lost years!

Why was it in a storage unit in L.A.?

What was the owner planning to do with 16 heavy puzzles pieces of an ancient artifact?

What adventures did this work of art experience in its approximately 100 years of being “lost?”

What do you think, readers?

Trending Art: Butter Sculpture. Would you try it?

Did you know that butter sculpting is a thing? While you may not hear about it much, it’s actually a long-held tradition, dating back to ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture. Here in the United States, you’ll mainly find butter sculptures at state fairs, where they’ve been a more recent(ish) tradition held over the last 150 years. Last week, the below sculpture was presented at The Great New York State Fair. The piece is in response to the theme: “Refuel Her Greatness – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX.” It was sculpted over a period of 10 days by Jim Victor and Marie Pelton and is made out of 800 pounds of butter. 800 pounds!

Behold it below. The process is pretty amazing to watch!

The sculpture celebrates female athletes, showing a progression of differently aged girls and women competing in physical challenges. Sadly, now that the exhibition is over, all of that butter will be melted down. Because you can’t eat just butter that has been an art exhibit, it will be recycled by a methane converter and recycled into renewable energy.

Here’s my creative challenge to you, readers. The next time you are at the grocery store, buy a block of butter and some large potatoes. Practice butter sculpting on a mini-scale, and then recycle your art directly onto that potato. You honestly have nothing to lose from this.


Viral: Artistic Tributes to Queen Elizabeth II Flood the Interweb.

Last Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her Balmoral home. In last week’s blog, I discussed her legacy on the art world in the past century. In the past week, however, that legacy has only continued to grow. Why? The world continues to honor the monarch’s legacy with some amazingly creative works of art content on social media. The following Youtube Shorts, each paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, were viral this week. Each of them show astounding amounts creativity and talent.

Which one is your favorite?

That’s a wrap on this week’s latest in creative content, readers! We hope you’ll join us again next Friday for the latest creative challenges, art content, and art news! As you go about your life this week, remember: you can be creative in everything (and anything) you do!