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Artful Autumn in New York

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

November is here with a crisp breeze, beautiful foliage, exceptional artwork and openings galore!

The last two weeks in ART YARD Advanced Studio students worked to complete their Self Portrait in Reflection paintings.

Blaze and Ezra made strides on their pieces working with a deep thinking in content and individual style.

Marlene dove right back in making big bold changes in her approach inspired by Claudia's demonstration.

In a bold Fauvist palette, Sigrid completed her piece in time to bring to her high school portfolio reviews. August finished two paintings to bring to his reviews.

Both Akash and August had completed their first piece and set out to paint another. Noticing that their completed works were atmospheric and abstractly symbolic, I challenged both to really focus on depicting their face in their new work. Kentler Director Florence Neal found us some mirrors to aid in this goal.

Vera created a second panel as a very successful diptych to her finished painting. With her razor sharp focus and beautiful handling of paint Elizabeth continued to add layers to her piece with stunning final results.

Claudia pointed out that Madison’s strong symbolic device of a blue circle form around the face reminded her of one of her favorite 14/15th century master paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia made this comparison while we were at work, but this is exactly the sort of connection we like to make in our critique process, so we discussed again with the whole group at the end of the evening.

Fatima's paintings are beautiful, elegant and moody. We all loved her use of blue as light and reflection.

And Jordan blew us all away with her amazing handling of paint, confident but free brushwork and the remarkable likeness she captured in her Self Portrait in Reflection!!

This time of year is a busy one and those Advanced Studio participants who are applying for their next level of school are busy with school tours. Next week we are moving on to still-life painting with Teaching Artist Rachael Wren.

With this in mind, I have suggested I could hold an additional Advanced Studio on Monday November 11th. It is Veteran’s Day and we had planned a holiday. We would finish up portraits, work on artist statements, and of course, have our usual painting time for everyone. Advanced Studio Artists: Please let me know if you would like me to add this session!

Now for the openings and exhibition news, all of which is very exciting!!

Last Saturday Florence Neal’s exhibition The Waters of The Future opened in the Plus Space at FiveMyles Gallery located at 558 St Johns Place in Crown Heights. This exhibition is a public art installation about water using water-based woodcut prints. Viewers are invited to answer the question “What is the color of the water of the future?” Their answers are hand printed using the ancient Japanese technique, mokuhanga.

In the main gallery at FiveMyles, Mildred Beltre (Mother of ART YARD student Sigrid) along with Nicole Awai, Bahar Behbahani, Martha Haile, Alexandre Kyungu Mwilambwe, Sa’dia Rehman, and Roberto Visani has work included in Trajectory: FiveMyles Group Exhibition curated by Charlotta Kotik with William Corwin. Both exhibitions are on view through December 15th.

Cecile Chong has work included in the exhibition Figuring the Floral features artists who apply this symbolism to their work—touching on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, aging and other facets of identity. Reflecting on the site-specificity of these works exhibited amid the flourishing gardens of Wave Hill, Bronx NY through December 10, 2019.

Meridith McNeal has work included in BLACK and WHITE National Juried Art Show at 311 Gallery 311 west martin street, Raleigh NC and in National Juried Painting Exhibition on view at University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS through November 12th.

And my piece Inside Outside Filaments (Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn), 2019, watercolor on paper, 75x55" has been awarded Best of Show for on view in Arizona Aqueous XXXIV exhibit at Tubac Center of the Arts.

Claudia Alvarez has work included in HeART & Mind an exhibition exploring mental health and the healing power of art, reducing stigma and increasing visibility at The Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, CT through January 12, 2020.

Claudia’s work is also on view more locally in a Selections: Works from the Fine Arts Faculty at President’s Office Gallery at Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.


Participant Inc, 253 E Houston St #1, Lower East Side, Manhattan presents The Shank, a solo exhibition by Glendalys Medina. In it, Medina gives the audience a view into The Shank; a system that uses 'self-help' literature and Hip-Hop culture for personal development. It aims to highlight the discrepancy between authors in the field and its consumers, in the hopes to level the playing field while motivating the audience to participate in the 3-week system. Opening reception: Sunday, November 3, 7-9pm on view through December 15, 2019.

Cecile Chong’s installation Straingers opens Thursday, Nov 7, 5 to 7 pm at UP NEXT: 1 Main Window Dumbo, Brooklyn and remains on view through December 16, 2019. The word “Strainger” is a play-on-words between a stranger and a strainer. In this “Strainger Series” of mask-like sculptures, the beaded image of the “guagua” (Quechua word for baby) covers most of the surface of a kitchen strainer. The straingers themselves suggest the act of separation, liquid from solid, interior from exterior, insider from outsider, the exotic from the mundane.

Metropolis New Paintings by Ed Rath opens at M55 Gallery 530 West 25th Street. 4th floor, New York, NY on Thursday, November 7, 2019 5 - 7:30 PM. In these new works Ed Rath explores how architectural details color our consciousness. The exhibition is on view through November 23, 2019.

Time to grab your sweaters and get out and see some of these wonderful exhibitions!

We are thrilled to announce tickets are now on sale for Les Amis de ART YARD; our first annual benefit at Appétit Bistro (where my French Windows are on view).

Hosted by our friend Edwin Montoya, Appétit Bistro owner, this event will help us continue to provide quality art programming to children, teens and young adults. We hope you will consider purchasing tickets!

Thanks to all of you making and exhibiting wonderful art and to all of you who support the vibrant community of ART YARD!

Most sincerely,

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