This week in ART YARD Advanced Studio on zoom we worked with Karla Prickett on a session titled Art Brut: Urban Space, Rural Space, My Space. Inspired by the work of Jean Dubuffet, Adolph Wolfli, Aloise Corbaz, Mr. Imagination, Robert Joy, Grandma Layton we concentrated on letting go of imposed or self-imposed rules and norms – creating a visual narrative from mood, feelings and personal observations and environments.
Artworks by Jean Dubuffet, Adolph Wolfli, Aloise Corbaz, Mr. Imagination, Robert Joy, Grandma Layton (in that order below):
Karla writes: “In my lesson plan research, I learned of Dubuffet’s interest in and inspiration from the art of children and the mentally ill. The artwork examples in the lesson all fall into the Art Brut genre. Each of these artists suffered debilitating mental illness, personal discrimination or tragedy. All discovered art had freed them from depression and fear and provided a means to communicate who they were, and what they wanted to express, to themselves and the rest of the world. Art has the power to change both the lives of artist and audience.
Everyone’s shared work expressed personal selection of medium and approach to creatively expressing a current feeling, issue, or state of mind. Inspirational elements from the presentation were thoughtfully incorporated. I enjoyed the diversity in the works and hearing about what each artist chose to express. It is easy to understand how one can get zoned in on artmaking and not realize hours have passed!
In her own piece made with cardboard, acrylic, pen, colored pencil and cut paper Karla explains: “The text on black a repetition of the phrase “slow down”…responding to a task packed weekend and my lesson tech challenges!! This sums things up!”
Madison responds to the unsettling experience of adjusting to daylight savings time with her series of digital drawings.
Madison Mack, Art Brut: Urban Space, Rural Space, My Space
Kevin began a piece about the at-times overwhelming experiences he has had as a college student. He writes: ""For this piece I wanted to symbolize how I feel at the moment. School takes up so much time, and I am trying to stay afloat. However, so much is trying to pull me down that I struggle.".
Maraya created a short video during the session.
Maraya Lopez, Art Brut: Urban Space, Rural Space, My Space
Abby focused in on the calm she is able to channel from a favorite amethyst geode.
Ed pointed out that Dubuffet is one of his favorite artists.
My drawing is about my 2 month long saga of electricity issues with Con Edison.
Marilyn attended Karla's lecture but had to leave early. She completed the lesson later in the week. She explains that her colored pencil, crayons, and watercolor—wax resist is "reflects how I was feeling after my email was hacked last week."
On Tuesday evening ART YARD Advanced Studio met in person at Noho M55 Gallery, 548 West 28th Street, Suite 634, Chelsea, Manhattan where we enjoyed a private viewing of ART YARD Artist Ed Rath’s solo exhibition Guys!
It was great to see the intrepid ART YARD Artists including Keith and Imala who we’ve not seen in a bit and Estelle visiting Shalisa from France! Attendees enjoyed wine and cheese while November wind and rain pelted the Chelsea sidewalk. Then, after a short talk by Ed Rath, the artists, got to work.
At critique we were treated to an array of unique drawings that illuminated Ed's work in surprising ways. Ed enthuses: “The artwork, which speaks for itself, is a testimony to ART YARD’s commitment to drawing, painting, and all things artistic.”
Managing Director Dennis Buonagura reports: “Things seem to be coming together with our pending school partnerships. Working on programming plans with The East New York Arts and Civics High School, I met remotely with the school's principal and assistant principal this week to finalize scheduling. WHEN all approvals go through, we will be set to begin in mid-December.
As for our Jersey City schools, we expect to begin one in mid-December and another in early January. While nothing is 100% set in stone yet (as we all know - things can happen at the 11th hour), contracts have been signed and I am feeling very confident."
Dennis also reports that, just before this bitter cold snap came about, he enjoyed the beauty of Central Park in autumn - as did Olive, seen here before sweater weather began, or, as Truman Capote wrote in "A Christmas Memory" (1956): "oh my, it's fruitcake weather".
More Art News:
Last weekend Teaching Artist Iviva Olenick and I took Teaching Artist Aisha Tandiwe Bell up on her in person at the gallery days on Saturdays and Sundays 3-6pm.
For her exhibition Trap is on view at Arcade Project, 56 Bogart Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn, Thursday-Sunday from 12-6pm through November 20th.
Iviva reports: “Upon viewing Aisha’s artwork, I remembered having seen her ceramic works in the past, and being intrigued by her work. I was drawn to the glazed surfaces of her ceramic heads, some shiny and some matte; some with eyes gazing out into an expanse and others without a direct gaze. The combination of the sculptural heads with paintings was new. Aisha lifted up a few of gaze ceramic heads, and we saw the painting underneath with fully rendered faces. This was a surprise - the secret doorway to the inside of her artwork. But the best part was hearing her speak about her work as a performance poet, and starting to understand her multidisciplinary art making process through a video of another performer activating a heavy ceramic headpiece.”
Last week as I was reading ceramicist Edmund de Waal’s The White Road: A Journey Into The History Of Porcelain I came across the term crucible.
To me a crucible meant severe test or perhaps an agent of change, such as one might glean from Arthur Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible a story of the Salem Witch Trials. However, in de Waal’s text about ceramics, it was clear that, in fact, a crucible is a strong vessel used for melting something exceedingly hot. When I looked it up in Merriam-Webster Dictionary I was drawn to this definition: “The newest sense of crucible (‘a situation in which great changes take place,’ as in ‘forged in the crucible of war’) recalls the fire and heat required to transform some solids into liquids.”
Yesterday ART YARD Artist Vera Tineo sent me this fantastic photo. I asked for a caption so I could include it in the recap.
Vera wrote back: : “Yesterday, I was bronze casting. I could not contain my excitement, I was dancing all around the furnace as I placed bronze in the crucible. This process is allowing me to rediscover my strength, after my past surgeries.”
Interestingly, it seems as if all meanings of the word crucible are apt in Vera's reply.