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Pewter Arugula and Blue Chairs

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

One of the perks of meeting with students from our school partnerships in virtual sessions has been the opportunity to get to know parents, grandparents, caretakers, siblings and pets of our young elementary age students.

This week Vera and I received this lovely note from Sophie mother of our 4 year old student Lucy: “Thank you for a wonderful year, and all your hard work both on zoom and behind the scenes. I know you have really helped Lucy feel engaged, special, and part of a community. Excited to see how the exhibition comes together!”

This is precisely our aim at ART YARD BKLYN!

For our final art making sessions of this year’s ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 Teaching Artist Vera Tineo challenged our kindergarten and first grade artists to draw from observation.

Vera shared a slideshow with a variety of masterworks drawn from observation. Then she walked students through the process of carefully looking at an object to discern shapes. In doing so, it is possible to depict perspective, which gives an artwork the illusion of depth.

Vera's demonstration is included in this week's video recap.

After this instructive introduction we got to work. Collaborating classroom teachers made sure to have an extra chair prominently placed so that all students had an unobscured view. Vera suggested we aim to fill the page with our drawing and gave helpful hints on how to vary color to depict shadows and reflections.

Chair model, and chair drawings from observation by first graders Taylor, Sigurd, Nico, Nate, Mya, Lily, Joshua, Gabriel, Djuna, and Aria:

A different chair and more art by first grade artists Nico, Nate, Liam, Julissa, and Aria:

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Lescure adds: “I love how my students really looked at the details as they drew their chairs and were able to artistically draw the perspective of the chair as well. They were very creative!”

A wooden chair from observation by kindergarteners Zoe, Lorelei, Rocky, Maya Leonides, Zeke, Juliet, Liam, and Alessandro.

Later in the day with our virtual students I presented a PowerPoint of samples from each lesson we completed this year. These hard working docents then made audio clips talking about the artwork, the process and materials. Vera will combine the audio and images to create our end of year virtual exhibition!

Miles and Lucy also took on the job of graphic designers creating signage for our exhibition. And Lucas was able to manage both audio recording AND observational drawing all in one session!

Miles displays his signage for our upcoming exhibition
Lucas, PS 282 Several Chairs from Observation

We hope to see you, your family and friends next week as we celebrate the opening of our virtual exhibition on Wednesday, June 23rd from 2:30-3pm on ZOOM!

Evite with text design by 4 year old Lucy

Just send us an email to request the Zoom link!


Teaching Artist Aisha Tandiwe Bell began our ART YARD Advanced Studio session entitled Shifting Selves asking us all to recount a memorable occurrence from our weekend. The viewing of a great documentary about Thelonious Monk, a huge snake on the board walk out in Coney, a tattoo designed by a 5 year old spotted during an elevator ride, and a fun basketball game with dad were all in the mix.

We then proceeded to depict these events in a three-page “flip” picture. To do this, we made a three-page “book” and then removed sections from the top and middle pages so as to reveal some--but not all--of each of the lower layers. We started by sketching out one image on the top layer, but, as we flipped each “page,” more and more blank space was revealed, while a certain portion of the original image was retained. For each layer thus revealed, we sketched a continuation of the image in the blank space--but changing it in big or small ways on each page, to surprise the viewer.

Ed Rath, Shifting Selves: Tattoo in the Elevator
Zeke Brokaw, Shifting Selves: Basketball with Dad
Robin Grant, Shifting Selves: Thelonious Monk Documentary
Sarah Gumgumji, Shifting Selves: The Saga of the Squirrel and the Pigeon

Images soon of Eden Moore, Shifting Selves: Pride Flag Displayed on a Church, and Kevin Anderson, Shifting Selves: Kayaking as a Guide in NYC.

Marilyn August, Shifting Selves: Life in The Garden
Sigrid Dolan, Shifting Selves: Big Snake on the Boardwalk at Coney
Karla Prickett, Shifting Selves: Surreal Early Morning in the Back Yard
Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Shifting Selves: A Huge Dandelion Puff Ball
Nayarit Tineo, Shifting Selves: An Enormous Tortoise
Pat Larash, Shifting Selves: Crescent Moon & Venus In The Night Sky Over An Outdoor Café

Aisha comments: “I think the lesson went really well. I was worried about the freedom of materials. I love that there is so much space for options with this class. You doing the lesson ahead of time and having some confusion about the directions (though the work was beautiful) really made me take my time with the demo and in this case it made more sense to play the video while we worked. I loved the work that was produced.”

Zeke complimented Aisha’s superb demonstration and its power to clarify all questions one might have had on the process. I had to concur with Zeke. I worked on my own piece on Sunday in an attempt to free up my time during the session to trouble shoot and provide support. While I like the piece, I managed to muddle the process. I really could have used that great demo!

Meridith McNeal, Sort of Shifting Selves, New Air Conditioner

ART YARD Managing Director Dennis Buonagura met with 4th and 5th graders from ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 in Jersey City via Google Meet this week to discuss their participation in our docent program.

Students learned and practiced their introductions, making eye contact (for those wanting to submit videos - mind you, making eye contact is not an easy feat when using devices from home), explaining lessons, explained materials they used, their feelings and experiences while making art, and overall perfecting communication skills and personality.

Mrs. Tolentino (4th grade) played an important part in our docent training program and we are extremely grateful for her expert cooperation and going the extra mile for Art Yard Bklyn during this year of remote learning and in our plans to produce a virtual exhibition.

With Vera's expertise, images, audio/video clips, and voice overs will magically become a remote presentation of selections of our semester's work at the school.

Student Docent Swara Recording Tour of Exhibition

Kudos to ART YARD Artist Karla Prickett who is working on a new commission piece for a library collection. Karla shares these fascinating process images of the work Essence I a 36x36”collage made from 1950s dictionary “words in drawings,” old library cards, catalogue cards and “due date” slips Mixed Media collage on canvas with under-painted grid. Karla explains that the work is recalling her summer walks to the library, historic methods for checking out a book, historic printmaking and drawing methods used to produce illustrations and celebrates words as the essence of language and communication.

Karla Prickett, Essence I, collage in progress (detail)
Karla Prickett, Essence I, collage in progress

Congratulations to ART YARD Teaching Artist Rachael Wren who has work included in Only If We Wish To at Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street in New York City. The show runs through July 10th, 2021.


I am pleased to have work included in Site:Brooklyn’s virtual exhibition Landscape: Exploring the Built and Grown.


Dennis writes: I live nearby Lincoln Center which is essentially closed due to the pandemic, aside from some outdoor performances in the band shell. A new art installation called THE GREEN by designer Mimi Len turned the entrance plaza into a very sylvan playground, of sorts. It’s 14,000 square feet of very soft GREEN-ness with lots of fun shapes.

Made from something called SYNlawn, a turf product with a "high soy content"—THE GREEN includes swooping sides, arches, an inverted arch, and little chairs and tables which resemble a stage set from INTO THE WOODS or a futuristic miniature golf course. It’s a surprise to see, when passing by, because this was always just a concrete plaza.

One of the arches features an empanadas kiosk while another has a box filled with free books, courtesy of the NY Public Library for Performing Arts.

I was surprised to notice that dogs were allowed - I intentionally didn’t bring Olive, altho she would have loved it - but I was pretty sure she would have left a ‘calling card’, which is a big no-no. I’ll need to bring her back there during this week. There are signs asking dog owners to follow an honor system and not let their dogs relieve themselves. An honor system - in New York? For real?

One becomes sort of nostalgic, feeling the urge to roll around on the grass. Well, not that I planned to roll (it really wasn’t my thing even, as a child) and thinking about the doggie honor system kept me in an upright position. I did wonder, after feeling the turf, that it must be quite easy to clean - which I’ve seen happening very early in the morning before the lawn officially opens. So - don’t go by my phobias - go to the lawn and ROLL!

It’s beautiful to see - and feel - both daytime and nighttime. GO ! - but at nighttime, the Lincoln Center fountain’s dancing waters are lit in rainbow colors for Pride Month and it’s gorgeous.

Lincoln Center fountain’s dancing waters are lit in rainbow colors for Pride Month


Finally, check out ART YARD Artist Jacob Rath’s recent project assisting a fellow artist in the creation of pewter arugula!!

Jacob Rath, Pewter Arugula

Happy Juneteenth!!

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