top of page

Art is a priority

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Our benefit Les Amis de ART YARD takes place tomorrow at Appétit Bistro Sono.

Even if you are not able to join us for the event, there are great ways to financially support ART YARD BKLYN programs! We have added two beautiful limited edition art pieces to our Auction/Raffle/Sale on Galabid:

For $50 you can purchase a silk-screened print by ART YARD Artist Vera Tineo! As of this writing there are only 11 prints left.

Vera Tineo, Les Amis de ART YARD Dora Maar view, 2021, silk screen print

For $30 you can purchase an ART YARD Tote Bag based on a mixed media collage by ART YARD Artist Delphine Levenson, designed and printed by ART YARD Artists Vera and Nayarit Tineo. Only 26 hand-printed cotton tote bags are available, get yours now!

Thank you for helping us to make art and art making a priority with your purchase!


This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio on Zoom Teaching Artist Aisha Tandiwe Bell taught a fabulous class called Monochromatic Nostalgia inspired by the work of Whitfield Lovell. After exploring his powerful artwork, we encourage you to check out Whitfield Lovell’s must-see solo exhibition Le Rouge et Le Noir is on view at DC Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street in Chelsea through December 18, 2021.

Whitfield Lovell, The Red VIII, 2021, Conté on paper with attached found object

From the exhibition press release: “Whitfield Lovell is internationally renowned for his installations that incorporate masterful Conte crayon portraits of anonymous African Americans from between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. Using vintage photography as his source, Lovell often pairs his subjects with found objects, evoking personal memories, ancestral connections, and the collective American past.”

In this session ART YARD Artists made portraits using an old photo of a friend or family member for inspiration. Aisha reports: “This went very well. I loved the work the lesson was inspired by and I really loved the work the students made. I love the mixed media approach, but what really made the work were the personal objects and the meaning they added to the individual portraits. I have with this group really worked outside of my comfort zone in term of media and application. This was much more familiar to me and the students so the process did feel like a nice exhale. At the same time the added element of a personal object made it nuanced and more interesting.”

Aisha surrounded her mother in a warm glowing gold, placing a fantastic afro pick in the portrait!

Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Karla explains her piece: “My father (in the glasses) and his brother around 1928. He kept books for a dairy, then a bakery and then a brick plant. Missed out on med school due to the draft three months from graduating Creighton University. Loved detail and playing sports. His father was a minor league prof baseball player. I really like this photo. No signs of strife raising six children!! The object I included was strips filled with his hand entered numbers on a ledger sheet. The circles are pressed with my grandfather’s architect seal.”

Karla Prickett, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Likewise Diane’s beautiful painting depicts multiple generations with a portrait of her niece and objects which belonged to her mother.

Diane Collins, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Ed’s piece about his grandfather Leo L. English also presents a layered personal narrative of a life on the railroad.

Ed Rath, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Wayne and Delphine added lockets with strong personal significance to their engaging and personality-rich portraits.

Wayne Gross and Delphine Levenson, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Zeke and I depicted Scouts in our family! Zeke drawing his grandfather, my portrait is of my mother looking rather angelic, particularly for a kid known to her family as “Little Iodine”. Dennis got into the scouting fun by sharing a photo of Joe in his cub scout uniform.

Zeke Brokow, Meridith McNeal, Monochromatic Nostalgia and Joe as a Cub Scout

Jane’s portrait of her grandmother and Marilyn’s portrait of her mother used scale of their added object to excellent effect!

Jane Huntington, Monochromatic Nostalgia

Marilyn August, Monochromatic Nostalgia


What a sunset this week at ART YARD Advanced Studio in-person at BWAC as Teaching Artist Candy Heiland wrapped up her series investigating the process of gathering images through different means: drawing from life, photographs, memory and imagination.

Sunset and Sign at ART YARD Advanced Studio at BWAC

Candy explains: “The idea for this cycle was inspired by my own journey of discovering the process of returning to the creative life as an artist. I had slowly drifted away from it over a period of years as my work in the film business began to overtake her former commitment to art. I just kept trying every way I could think of, until something stuck and I could begin, again, to create art as a priority. (Special thanks to Marie Roberts for introducing me to an entire community of artists!)”

Ed Rath, Figurines week 4

Robin Grant, Figurines week 4

Elizabeth Morales, Figurines week 4 (l)

Elizabeth Morales, Figurines week 4 (ll)

Candy Heiland, Figurines week 4

Candy says that in working with the talented multi-generational artists of ART YARD she realized that everyone had different ways of creating images, all of which were valid. Adding that this honoring of our own unique artistic voices is what this series has been about.

We were to each ask ourselves these questions:

1) What techniques did you enjoy most?

2) Which one led to the creation of your favorite image?

3) What surprised you most?

The return to in person learning has been especially healing for ART YARD Artists. The shared energy in our big studio at BWAC has been completely uplifting!

Meridith McNeal, Figurines week 4


A sunshine-y bright day resulted in gorgeous works by our after school participants ART YARD Art Matters at the Brooklyn New School this week. Classes currently are held outdoors in the school's field due to COVID protocol restrictions AND the gorgeous autumn weather.

Teaching Artist Fatima Traore demonstrated the use and care of water brush pens - from the proper way to fill the pen with water .. to cleaning the brush part when done. She further demonstrated "painting" techniques with watercolor pencils which seemed like magic to some students. Students enhanced their "Healing Powers of Nature" pieces using Fatima's techniques which brought their works from pencil drawings to mixed media watercolor paintings.

Fatima leads critique at BNS

During critique, everyone wanted to know about Walsh's choice of a scorpion for his subject. We now all know (from Walsh) that chemists have identified and synthesized two new healing compounds in scorpion venom that are effective at killing staph and tuberculosis bacteria.


Other art news:

Now that New York City’s art world is back live-and-in-person, I expect ART YARD Managing Director Dennis Buonagura’s kitchen wall calendar is chock full!

Dennis reports on his favorite performance this week: “Porgy and Bess opened the Metropolitan Opera's 2019-2020 season but most performances were postponed due to the pandemic - it's now back at the Met since it's 2021 reopening and we were fortunate to see it this week.

Written in the 1930's by George and Ira Gershwin (Brooklyn-ites!), the opera has had lives on and off the opera stage (Broadway, Hollywood, regional theatre, concerts, touring companies) but it's now where it belongs - on the grand stage of NY's Metropolitan Opera.

It'd take pages and pages to write about the glory of this work and this production - and while I usually don't like to 'recommend' opera or theatre pieces (because everyone has their own likes and dislikes - and sometimes get angry at the 'recommender'), this is something to see (and hear!). If the magnificent set doesn't interest you - nor the costumes or libretto or performances etc. - you can sit and close your eyes and listen to the beautiful music. Porgy and Bess is one of those rare operas where many of its arias and duets have crossed over to other genres of music ("Summertime" has been performed and recorded by dozens of singers.).

For the 2019 opening night, a banner was placed out front of the Met - art by Kerry James Marshall. When the Met closed for the pandemic, it was removed and sadly hasn't returned - I am not sure why.

Banner by Kerry James Marshall

While photographs are not permitted in the house during a performance (and I am generally a rule-follower!), I snapped a shot of the scrim before the performance began (I think that's ok - maybe?) showing Catfish Row (a fictitious housing area in South Carolina, where the story is set) which is lifted to reveal the massive set.

Scrim for Porgy and Bess at the Met

The Met has a terrific HD streaming series so you can see Porgy and Bess at home - but there's no comparison the sound in the opera house or the experience of grand opera in NY - still going strong in 2021.

Set for Porgy and Bess

On a related note, attending a performance at any theatre is such a treat - but the Met continues so many traditions that I love. One in particular is the paper cones at the water fountain. It all seems so civilized - opera-goers waiting on line, politely, taking one cup at a time, moving to the side, drinking quickly, and putting the cone in the receptacle. Of course, this routine now involves pulling one's mask down and back up again after drinking, and standing six feet apart on the line. Still wonderful. I believe the only other theatre that still has these cones and fountains is Radio City Music Hall but I haven't been there in many years to confirm.”

Dennis gets a drink of water at intermission

NOTE: the photos of the Kerry James Marshall banner and the stage set were taken from the Met’s website.”


Thank you so much for your support!


P.S. If the tote bags and prints sell out, you can still support ART YARD programs through PayPal or Venmo.

107 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page