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Ala Ebtekar’s Cosmic Love for San Francisco

San Francisco is both earthly and divine.

A city has many possibilities—it’s a wide open landscape inspired by the heritage, folklore, and traditions of its inhabitants.

Though our backgrounds may define us, a city can just as easily define us, becoming a part of who we’ve been, who we are, and who we will become. For San Francisco-based artist Ala Ebtekar, the notion of culture’s impact on community is a major focal point not only in his practice as an artist but also in his personal life. As part of The GOOD Cities Project, we collaborated with Ebtekar to create a visual love letter to the city of San Francisco, and recently spoke with him about his artistic practice, his relationship with the Bay Area, and what he had planned for his love letter.

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VITAMINS 101: Know What You Need

Get the dish on your nutrition

Photo by @evagoicochea/Instagram

Even in our current food-obsessed culture, both increased interest in and access to specialty foods—organic, artisanal, locally-sourced, etc.—doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve become healthier, unfortunately. Instead of chasing after the latest gastronomic trends or ordering the most Instagram-worthy dish on the menu, what we should also be focusing on is the actual nutritional content of the food we’re consuming and how it makes an impact to our overall health.

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As part of the “Change Your World” series, in partnership with Walden University, GOOD spoke to Courtney Skiera about her career and the powerful way her education has shaped her life and her community.

There are many voices in this world that aren’t given the opportunity to be heard. For women in Uganda, the threat of violence, sex trafficking, and death are all too real, and there are few platforms for them to speak out and say enough is enough. It often requires a voice from the outside to propel a cause forward and make a difference. For PhD candidate Courtney Skiera, it was this desire to enact palpable change in the real world that’s at the core of what inspired her to pursue a doctorate in psychology at Walden University, and put her newfound knowledge and skills to use on a global scale.

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A Mosaic Shines in Philly

An intimate conversation with a fixture of the Philadelphia art world.

PHILADELPHIA - The South Street district is a gritty, disheveled, and jaggedly beautiful area in Philadelphia. Filled with artist’s studios, bohemian hangouts, and eclectic boutiques, South Street has long been a bastion of counterculture, a haven for those who do not fit into mainstream society and go against the grain of the status quo. Driving around this eclectic neighborhood, it is apparent that a main fixture of South Street is the glittering mosaics by artist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar’s mosaic murals, often covering entire buildings in shattered glass, ceramic, and mirror, are metaphysical windows into a world of creativity; they synthesize the history of art and the international folk art communities into a uniquely beautiful visual statement that is all at once a reflection of Zagar’s surroundings and his imagination.

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Artist Nick Cave Puts Racism on Display

A new exhibition turns infuriating historical ‘black objects’ into learning experiences.

For artist Nick Cave, the idea of a social consciousness has always been at the crux of his work, specifically exploring what it means to be an African American male in the 21st century. In his two-part solo exhibition currently showing at Jack Shainman’s 20th and 24th Street Galleries in New York City, Cave examines the history of trauma and racism, the ideas of loyalty and trust, the objectification of the black male, and the notion of violence manifested into material objects.

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