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Digging deep is a requirement, indeed…

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

First, an invitation: Please join us for COVERS an exhibition & party to benefit ART YARD BKLYN Saturday November 4, 6-8pm at the Record Shop, 360 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn.

There are tickets on sale now at Eventbrite to fit everyone’s budget from Make Your Own Mix Tape Level tickets (pay what you can) on up.

Our artwork auction is on the ART YARD BKLYN page at Galabid.

This event is organized and presented by ART YARD Artists, and now we need YOU to purchase tickets, bid on art and buy raffle tickets, and get your friends to do the same!

100% of the proceeds from this event, art sales and raffle support AYB programs.




This week Advanced Studio on zoom was led by Teaching Artist Reg Lewis. We focused on this year’s theme, “Do Something” by asking students to produce artworks that served as “a call to action” (which was also the title of the lesson). The various results all clearly invite the viewer to participate in some form of activity as they act as motivations for doing something/being proactive in the world.

Reg presenting on zoom

Reg summarizes the work of the evening: Richard’s boldly rendered figure in blue appears to take a proactive stance against the Pac-Man-esque consumerism that tends to devour so much of our energy and attention. The artwork thus operates as a call to fight against the more relentless aspects of capitalism.

Richard Lee Chong, Call To Action

Meridith’s artwork invites the viewer to consider the peace of meditation as she presents a warm mandala after using the actual practice of meditation as a much needed inspirational warm up. The colors and the calming circular details serve as a call to utilize and embrace meditation.

Meridith McNeal, Call To Action (A Vibrating Color Meditation Tool)

Madison’s vibrant violet crochet hooks remind her of the tapestries she wishes to complete as her refrain, “Don’t Stop, won’t stop,” serves as the perfect “bad boy” call to defeat procrastination.

Madison Mack, Call To Action

Ed’s call to action is rooted in his engaging figures who stand by the explicit invitation for the viewer to “experience the best” no matter the direction one assumes. The smooth violet street is in itself an invitation to a mysterious setting embodied by the one figure in silhouette.

Ed Rath, Call To Action

Karla’s artwork invites the viewer into the activity of heightened observation through the text while the figure represents the individual who must find a way to execute this feat while surviving the complexities of modern life even when one finds themself “at the end of their rope.”

Karla writes: “There were quite a range of thoughts at the center of each person’s work! Thanks Reg for this thought provoking lesson. In our current culture I find myself looking for truth and realities only to be fooled or misled at nearly every turn. So, I must concentrate on examining information closely before doing. It can be quite unsettling and often overwhelming. My piece is titled, “Is It Sketch.” Maybe it’s a self-portrait! The character is a bit unhinged, frayed and at the end of her rope! The world is turning at high speed and time seems to move much differently. Information is sprouting everywhere and one must drill deep to separate fact from fiction. To reacquaint oneself with trust. I was scammed last week!"

Karla Prickett, Call To Action

Similarly, Vera’s bold stop signs insist the viewer pause at once in their tracks for the act of listening which may require one to isolate their brain/mind connection in order to do so. It is an urgent call to simply stop and listen.

V Tineo, Call To Action I

V Tineo, Call To Action ll

Reg’s call to action identifies the inevitable feat of juggling as an act of self-preservation. The piece seeks to convey the perpetual motion required to keep it all “together.”

Reg Lewis, Call To Action

Overall, the objective for each student to produce “a call of action” influenced them to “do something” to inspire others. In this way, hopefully the session will continue to resonate and/or reverberate throughout our ART YARD family and beyond.”

I completed my piece later in the week and sent Reg some images (above) and a sincere thank you for this wonderful session. Red replied: “I’m happy to hear that some of that Shhh work has taken root as part of the strategies you rely upon. Being vigilant is key. Every day is seemingly new terrain in our complicated times. I hope we can be alchemists who turn our work into therapy for others as much as it provides healing process for us. It can really be too much at times. Digging deep is a requirement, indeed…


Due to the aftermath & cleanup on the heels of last Friday’s Flood, ART YARD Advanced Studio in-person met on Zoom with yours truly, Meridith McNeal as Teaching Artist.

After a discussion about what portfolio reviewers look for in college art department applications, I introduced examples of Observational Drawings of Interiors by several artists, including Pierre Bonnard, Rick Barton, Dawn Clements, David Hockney, Maira Kalman, Roxa Smith, Ed Rath, and Tara Manning one of my Wagner College students. We then set to work, drawing an interior from observation.

Pierre Bonnard Interieur (L`Atelier d`artiste) (The Artist`s Studio), 1940, hand colored lithograph

Dawn Clements, Interior drawing (installation view) , ink on patched paper

Rick Barton, Rooms, San Francisco: The Porpoise Bookshop, 1958

At critique, Meridith presented a simple, quickly rendered contour line drawing of her studio wall. It was noted that contour line drawing is the quickest, most direct way to represent forms in space and establish rudimentary pictorial composition. Line drawings are flat, abstract shorthand depictions of that which is in our field of vision. Mastering contour drawing allows one to organize the space and subject matter quickly before developing the texture and color.

Meridith McNeal, Interior from Observation

Delphine followed suit with a beautiful line drawing showing simple architectural details of window moldings. Her eloquent drawing shows restraint and focus in observing these elements, and expands her repertoire of personal imagery. She added a small bird perched atop a picture frame, bringing a living, breathing element to the staid architectural components.

Delphine Levenson, Interior from Observation

Pat's drawing depicts a corner of her bedroom, including its sloped ceiling, crown molding, inviting pillows, and a well-executed floor lamp. Meridith noted how well the swivel fitting is drawn, giving the drawing a sense of movement. The combination of hard, soft, and metallic elements, plus light from the lamp shining on the ceiling, create a feeling of intimacy.

Pat Larash, Interior from Observation

Sigrid embellished her drawing with some local color and light shading to emphasize the eccentric line where ceiling meets wall, caressing the boxed out pipe chase next to a mysterious door. We don't know where that door leads to - it suggests there is another world outside the safety of this comfortable bedroom.

Sigrid Dolan, Interior from Observation

Like Pat and Sigrid, Ed drew his bedroom looking up at the ceiling. It was noted the ceiling is very low in his small loft bedroom. After drawing the furnishings with contour lines, Ed added texture lines and shading to show different materials, including wood, brick, painted sheetrock, framed artworks, and a mirror.

Ed Rath, Interior with Mirror from Observation

Akash masterfully composed his interior view, and then added shading to the contour lines, creating the illusion of three dimensional space. His composition includes a series of objects moving from right to left across the top of the page, ending with a small plant in front of a window, contrasting the interior space/tech imagery with natural light and a living plant in a most pleasing way.

Akash Wilmot, Interior from Observation


Our latest design in the ART YARD BKLYN Redbubble shop -- Reg’s juggling hands span front and back of a hard-cover sketchbook. Check it out this new product type for our shop, and add to your collection!!

Your purchases support our programs and we are so grateful for your support.


Other Art News

Managing Director Dennis Buonagura really knows how to write a review! I now want to run out to The Shed to see Here We Are!

I felt like a tourist in my own city. We went downtown to Hudson Yards (on the #7 train - and saw the Xenobia Bailey murals) to attend a performance of “Here We Are”, the world premiere of the final musical by composer Stephen Sondheim - important for all musical theatre aficionados. It was unfinished at the time of Sondheim’s death in 2021 and the 2nd act is mostly put together by a new creative team - as is the book for the entire musical. It’s inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel. Many of Sondheim’s musicals are loosely based on foreign films. Great performances - especially two of my favorites: Denis O’Hare and Tracie Bennett.

BUT, aside from the musical, it’s the venue that takes center stage. WOW - how’d I miss ever attending a performance in THE SHED? It’s gorgeous - contemporary in design, firm but cushy seats that kind of fold into themselves, movable stage, hidden orchestra (I tried throughout the first act to find it - got up at the intermission to scout around and finally did!), and before, after, and during the break - a stylish and beautifully lit cafe/bar called Cedric’s in the lobby along with a McNally Jackson book-shop featuring lots of theatre-related books and gifts.

While the area is filled with tourists, The Shed was filled with serious NY theatre-goers (my type of NYers). I usually turn up my nose at such new places but this time I was thrilled to eat at Little Spain, see a lot of young and happy people, and visit a new neighborhood (well, not that new but new to me) to attend a musical. We also passed by AYB Teaching Artist Ash McKenzie’s murals on 34th Street after the performance - we took a different route home (the A on 8th Avenue). Such a great opportunities for NYers - one can be a tourist in one’s own backyard.

Note: I didn’t take any pictures so these are pilfered from reviews of the show and/or the venue. Also - The Shed is not just a performance arts space. Check out this link:


ART YARD Pal Pamela Talese is included in City Light in Morningside Heights at The Galleries at Interchurch Center. Pamela invites us to join her for the artists reception on Wednesday, October 11, 5:30-7:30pm.


RAIN DATE ANNOUNCED: Mark your calendars and please join us on Saturday October 14, 2-5pm for the public reception of Tree-Chuang, a project we participated in over Summer Session with Teaching Artists Xinan Ran!


Another event to attend Saturday October 14, noon – 3pm: Vera and I have work included in Dada Domicile at Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor, Building C, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY.


Vera will be performing & making balloon sculptures next weekend at a Korea Art Forum event in Inwood Hill Park on Saturday, Oct 21, 12-4pm!



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