We hosted the artists’ reception for our exhibition Towards A Brave New World on Tuesday night at the Gallery at 180 Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn.
The gallery with its adjoining public areas is the perfect setting for an event. We set up the generously donated refreshments which included homemade cookies, brownies, cakes, chips and salsa, seltzer and very nice wine in the room just beyond the gallery which insured a great flow of visitors. While the salon area which precedes that gallery lent itself perfectly to deeper conversations and mingling.
We were so pleased that exhibiting artists, teaching artists, students, parents, extended family, and friends along with building residents were in attendance!!
Thanks to Maraya’s suggestion, mid-event we gathered all present for a screaming of her video included in the exhibition. This gave us the opportunity to introduce the screening with a bit about ART YARD, after we watched the video Maraya spoke and we opened the floor to questions and lively dialogue and, in true ART YARD fashion, finishing with compliments.
Focusing on the theme of recovery and visions of a changed world, bridging a year of healing and restoration with a new year devoted to Planet Earth, this exhibition of paintings, drawings, and video by teaching artists Golnar Adili, Evelyn Beliveau, Maraya Lopez, Meridith McNeal, Vera Tineo, Fatima Traore, Ed Rath, and Quentin Williamston was produced by ART YARD Summer Session participants Marilyn August, Evelyn Beliveau, Dennis Buonagura, Sigrid Dolan, Ijenna Duruaku, Robin Grant, Delphine Levenson, Meridith McNeal, Maraya Lopez, Eden Moore, Elizabeth Morales, Iviva Olenick, Jacob Rath, and Fatima Traore.
We invite all of you to join us for the remaining events in the space from 6-8pm on the following Tuesdays:
· Sept 20: for Advanced Studio (hands on art making)
· Sept 27: Artist Panel Discussion
· Oct 4: Open Drawing Session (hands on art making)
ART YARD Advanced Studio on Zoom has resumed on Monday evenings. This week Teaching Artist Vera Tineo presented a session entitled Planet Earth: Our Responsibility and Consideration in which we developed a piece that personifies the earth’s experience and ideas about how we can make positive change. As inspiration Vera shared work by Judy Chicago, Mel Chin and Olafur Eliasson.
Vera summarizes the session: “This week everyone took their own approach to materials as they explored the ills and needs of our planet."
Sigrid wowed us all with her evocative drawing of human kind in the form if a petulant child throwing a tantrum in front of her mother (Earth). Vera points out it was a “really a strong relatable idea to a mother and child relationship which forces the viewer to think about their relationship to their own mother and how they should really treat their resources and their accessibility.”
Kevin describes his piece: "For the assignment of personifying the earth, I took a very literal approach in doing so. I wanted to show that the earth is sick by drawing it in a Looney Tunes style. Since Looney tunes characters are very expressive through over exaggerated facial features, I thought this style would suit me best, such as exhibiting veins in the eyes as well as a very droopy mouth. The character is also drinking a cup of oil, driving the point that fossil fuels are a major issue that harms our planet".
Delphine similarly added unlikely human features to a circular globe in her mixed media piece, which still in process.
Ed, referencing one of his favorite paintings The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, depicted the Earth on life support. Her head in the typical globe supportive vice becomes quite alarming in this narrative.
Karla explains, “My collage personifies mother earth with her portrait in the center of a charred earth. Red and black from global warming and environmental abuse. She reaches out in life like tree forms in a plea to restore and maintain a green space for all life.”
Zeke brings us into a deep dystopian landscape which, as Ed pointed out, calls to mind T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land.
...And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;...
Pat, who joined us a little late after a long day at school, began a lovely watery painting of the Ocean.
Jane took inspiration in a line from Dunes by Frederico García Lorca: “The dying North switched off all its stars” in her elegant but melancholy landscape drawing in ink. Sigrid pointed out during critique that Jane’s piece is reminiscent of the Tree of Life a fundamental archetype in many of the world's mythological, religious, and philosophical traditions. In addition, Sigrid adds the tangled branches bring to mind the labyrinth of Celtic Knots.
I painted a version of a NASA map of global warming which I then pinned to a fan, imagining the action of cooling as one flutters the piece.
Vera sums up her thinking behind this session: “Looking at the earth through a human lens, will allow other members of the community of earth to come to understand the harm that is continued and needs to be protested against.”
ART YARD Portfolio at LaGuardia students worked on Still Life from Observation this week. We began by looking at several examples of master still life drawings and paintings including work by Giorgio Morandi, Charles Ethan Porter, William H. Johnson, Wayne Thiebaud, Frida Kahlo, Kira Nam Greene, David Hockney, ART YARD Teaching Artists Sudan Hamburger and Jennifer Dodson reviewing basic ideas of composition, cropping and personal artistic style.
Left to right above: Giorgio Morandi, Wayne Thiebaud, David Hockney
Students used several household items to create their own still life. They sent images of their set up so that Sarah and I could offer support and advice as they began drawing from observation. This is a key project required for most college portfolios. Our method of working insures that this project also fits into the self-directed category schools require.
While most used the suggested materials – oil pastel on black paper – all drawings created in class reflect the students personality, style and artistic touch.
For homework participants were asked to investigate portfolio requirements of one college which interests them. NYU, RISD, Pratt, SUNY Purchase and Yale are among our cohorts top choices. Teaching Artist Sarah Gumgumji, who is assisting on this course, will be creating a master list of portfolio requirements for our students.
ART YARD Portfolio at LaGuardia is an intensive course with a driven aim, which means that we pack a lot into each class. This week we also discussed a critical skill they will need to learn - photographing your art! We viewed some samples of less stellar art photography and discussed how the artist could improve the photo. For next week students will re-photograph their work to date aiming for the best possible work.
Other Art News:
Quentin and I LOVED Mildred Beltré: Working to get there on view on Governors Island. The exhibition takes its title from pre-figurative and abolitionist writing and presents prints, drawings, crochets, and human hair installations created between the years of 2002-2022 that represent a powerful struggle for racial and gender equity that is crucial to hope and joy.
Mildred, who is the mother of ART YARD Artist Sigrid Dolan, was at the space while Quentin and I visited, which allowed us to really dive into the ideas and particulars of her fascinating and well-crafted artwork.
The show is up for one more weekend (through September 18th), we highly recommend you hop on a ferry for what will feel like a mini-vacation to see the spectacular show!
Congratulations to ART YARD Teaching Artist Susan Hamburger who has work included in Show Your Work curated by Sara Shaoul and Gabriela Vainsencher, at 601Artspace, 88 Eldridge Street, NYC opening Friday September 23, 6-8pm.
Show Your Work is titled after the ubiquitous request of math teachers everywhere. The artists in this exhibition challenge us in different ways to consider the role of “work” in their artwork: from art brought to life through labor-intensive virtuosic efforts, to art that succeeds exactly because the artist did less, not more, work. Susan Hamburger reimagines ancient military helmets, originally forged in heavy metals and intended to communicate wealth, power and military prowess, in subversively ethereal white paperclay. Her fragile, highly labor-intensive creations would immediately break on a battlefield, if they didn't melt in the rain first.
Please join us next week at the Gallery at180 Franklin for Advanced Studio in person art making on Tuesday, September 20, 6-8pm. Bring your sketchbooks and favorite drawing tools! We will have snacks.