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Updated: Apr 14

ART YARD Advanced Studio on zoom celebrated the eclipse in a session presented by Vee Tineo inspired by the work of Alma Thomas.

Alma Thomas, The Eclipse, 1970, acrylic on canvas

Vee recaps: Inspired by this week's eclipse, we collaborated with Alma Thomas's vibrant paintings to reflect the beauty of nature surrounding us. Alma Thomas's process was centered on capturing the world's beauty and highlighting its potential for growth.


Vee introduces the work of Alma Thomas on zoom

Marilyn began by capturing the essence of the eclipse, utilizing intriguing materials such as aluminum, paint, and construction paper to craft a singular composition.

Marilyn August, Eclipse mixed media inspired by Alma Thomas

Marilyn writes: “Vee’s lesson was perfect for eclipse day! I enjoyed the presentation of Alma Thomas’ work and was especially inspired by her brightly colored eclipse painting. I was fortunate to have experienced the total eclipse in 2017 in Lincoln City, OR; and it was thrilling. This time, I watched the partial eclipse in San Jose, CA. Though it was not as dramatic, it was still a special event. For the lesson, I painted on aluminum foil to suggest the reflective and brilliant quality of the sun’s corona around the moon and the “diamond ring” effect at the moment of totality. Thanks to Vee for a lesson that was “out of this world”.

Jane referenced her series of black and white photographs of bunny toys in Prospect Park. Her lively brushwork, bright color and composition certainly brought a level of hope to her imagery!

Jane Huntington, Bunny in the Trees, Hope at the Eclipse


Ed adeptly captured Thomas's use of movement and shape to produce a piece of art.

Ed Rath, Cornstalks at Night

Meridith painted the anticipation of blooming flowers in her home, adding a deeper narrative to the artist's work.

Meridith McNeal, Wisteria Buds while Watching Eclipse inspired by Alma Thomas

Eugenie demonstrated her watercolor skills and appreciation for nature's organic beauty.

Eugenie Chao, Eclipse Landscape inspired by Alma Thomas

AYB Artists Evelyn Beliveau and Karla Prickett missed this session as they were both on an eclipse viewing adventures in different parts of the country!

Evelyn writes: "I watched the total solar eclipse from a field in the hills of northern Vermont and had a spectacular experience. It was fun seeing the sun turn into a pac-man and then a crescent through the goggles, but the most striking part was the gradual thinning of the light all around and then the sudden darkening when totality hit. The change was at first so subtle that we second-guessed ourselves, but soon the full sunlight had undeniably transfigured into a weird tepid light reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic movie. During totality, all was dim twilight blue except for the glow of orange and purple behind the mountains. I took one brief glimpse at the sparkling corona. Then, surprisingly fast, the light returned, like the house lights in a theater coming back on after a show. As I’d just read a chapter on Romantic landscape painters, the subtleties and emotive qualities of atmosphere and light were at the forefront of my mind. I feel very lucky to have been able to perceive firsthand one of the more unusual effects of light that nature produces."

Thomas Cole, Romantic Landscape,1826

Karla reports: “Three friends and I traveled to Russellville, AR to observe the solar eclipse. We selected a baseball field and pitched chairs in a scorekeeper's covered space behind the home plate fence. The park had all the amenities for what's called "tailgating" in Kansas! (basically, sitting with friends in lawn chairs with food and drink and lots of conversation). 

Karla's eclipse viewing location!

Twenty minutes before the start of the eclipse we went out to center field with our special glasses! The stages before totality were gorgeous to view as the sun slowly became a fingernail moon shape and then a complete black circle! All around us the skies slowly dimmed, then became dark enough to see stars and trigger surrounding lights to come on. Birds were confused and dogs were barking. Shadows were cast echoing the shapes of the eclipse stages! And most beautiful of all was the aura/halo around the sun during a full four minutes of totality. 


Eclipse photos Russellville, KA. Photos by Karla Prickett.

The experience leaves one in awe and thinking about the immense universe and our existence within it and our connection to an energy we do not fully understand! 

Eclipse in Russellville AR. Photo by Karla Prickett.


Advanced Studio in person meet at Wonderville this week to see ART YARD Artists Jules Lorenzo and Liv Collins perform live with their band Joopi!

Joopi during sound check. Photo Meridith McNeal.

AYB Artist Ed Rath enthuses: “Rockin’ Out with Joopi!! This week we played hooky from our usual studio session in Red Hook, and spent the evening hanging out at Wonderville, in Bushwick. After dining on delicious fried scallion hot dogs, we enjoyed cutting edge live music by Joopi, featuring our very own Liv on bass, and Jules, on guitar and vocals.


The boisterous audience cheered the band on as they performed their original compositions with passion and precision.  It was inspiring to witness our versatile young artists present their ideas in this genre.  There is a long history of art students who became musicians (Keith Richards, Jarvis Cocker, etc.) as well as a long history of artists whose artwork was influenced by music.  In fact, we have explored the connection between music and art in previous ART YARD sessions.” 

Joopi performs live at Wonderville. Photo by Meridith McNeal.

AYB supporter Ryan Behroozi adds: “These guys have an irresistible sound driven by infectious melodies and deeply engaging delivery. Jules’ singing really speaks to the heart.” 

AYB Artist Naomi Bracho pipes in: "It was wonderful to see their confidence grow from their first show to their fourth. They were energetic and captivating to watch!" 


Jules and Liv flaunted their highly tuned visual aesthetics with lovely outfits, beautiful hair styles, instruments in great colors and a cloud projection behind the stage!

Photos (left to right) by Ed Rath, Liv Collins and Danny Fischer


AYB Managing Director Dennis Buonagura tells us:  “As a prelude to our start date (next week on April 17th), I went out to PS 17, the Joseph H. Brensinger School, in Jersey City, to discuss ART YARD Art Matters at PS 17 scheduling, program options, supplies, etc.  


We'll be conducting several classes throughout the day (Wednesdays will be our days at this school) and an afterschool program.


The principal, assistant principals, and administrative team gave me a tour of their library (gigantic!) and discussed their plans to create a gallery in a section now being used as a reading corner.  There's no guarantee that this will happen by the end of this semester but, no matter, we will have some sort of exhibit of the students' works whether in a gallery or elsewhere - complete with docents.


PS 17 library images. Photos by Dennis Buongura.

In addition, the afterschool program will include the design and execution of an outdoor mural AND an indoor mural.  Since we're starting so late in the year, AND we have classes to teach, we'll do our best to complete these tasks by the end of June.


So far, Ash (afterschool) and Evelyn (earlier classes) are on board.


Great old movies palaces along the walking route from Journal Square to the school.”

Lowe's Jersey. Photo by Dennis Buonagura.



Dennis reports in from PS 6: "In a terrific twist from routine, teaching artist Ash McKenzie offered a mid-cycle lesson on watercolor techniques - very much needed for the completion of the students’ solar eclipse paintings.

Ash demonstrates watercolor techniques. Photo by Dennis Buonagura.

Before the Spring break, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students participating in ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6, our partnership school in Jersey City, completed their drawings and are now ready to paint. Ash texted me earlier in the week with a “not so fast” kind of message - she felt that while many may have watercolor painting skills, some might not.  Smart move on Ash’s part.  

A busy AYB art room at PS 6. Photos by Dennis Buonagura.

Ash discussed and demonstrated values, gradation, and the wet on wet technique. Students practiced by creating a scale using square or rectangular boxes and also their favorite shapes and a bubble style of their favorite letter.  

Students at work. Photos by Ash McKenzie.

Lively critiques followed and these young artists are READY for next week!

Student enthusiastically discusses their work. Photo by Dennis Buonagura.

Ash was assisted today by our excellent volunteers from FDU, Gabriela and Evelyn.

Interns Gabriela and Evelyn assist students. Photo by Dennis Buonagura.

Vocabulary words for this week (in addition to value and gradation) were activate and mid-tone."


Other Art News

AYB Artist Vee Tineo shares a new ceramic piece in progress! Vee explains they are working with the theme of belong and strength but the sculpture has no title yet.

Vee Tineo ceramic work in progress. Photo Vee Tineo.

AYB Artist Karla Prickett's eclipse viewing adventure was not without exciting art viewing! Karla relates: “Home base for eclipse viewing trip was Bentonville, AR with a four-hour visit to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum.  The architecture is amazing and the museum's permanent collection spans five centuries of American artwork including work by Ruth Asawa, Patrick Martinez, Stuart Davis, Kerry James Marshall, Charles Wilbert Wright, Edward Hopper, Siri Kaur, Ronald Jackson, as well as the actual transplanted Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House (in that order below).


I am thrilled to have work included in Doorways: Coming or Going at McCord Gallery and Cultural Center, 9602 W. Creek Road, Palos Park, IL, Hive Mind at Kentler International Drawing Space, 353 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY  from April 20 – May 26, 2024, and to have been interviewed for SHOUTOUT LA.

Inside Outside Quarantine Acropolis (Clinton Hill, Brooklyn) installed in Doorways: Coming or Going at McCord Gallery and Cultural Center



PS only 2 more days to bid! Collect Art/Support AYB!

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