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“I want to paint now!!”

We are pleased to report we have added a public mural project to our programs at MS226 in South Ozone Park Queens. The mural painting will be completed in April by our Art Club students working with Flavia, Glendalys and Jane. Thus we have rescheduled our exhibition opening for Tuesday, May 7th.

In the meantime we have installed Metamorphosis our exhibition of student artwork in the ART YARD Gallery at MS226. A sneak preview:

New gallery signage is in:

Join us for the opening!


This week Dennis and I met with Kentler Director and Artist Florence Neal to brainstorm and plan upcoming ART YARD programs. We are so excited to announce that ART YARD Summer Session 2019 will take place at Kentler International Drawing Space in Red Hook Brooklyn.

ART YARD Summer Session is an intensive three-week artmaking program for invited kids and teens. Students work individually and collaboratively in full-day sessions allowing for sequential learning, deep skill development, large-scale projects and field trips. Classes will focus on drawing techniques and methods, drawing from life in the gallery and at other locations in the neighborhood including the piers, shipping docks, historic architecture and parks.


In preparation for ART YARD BKLYN's partnership with PS 6, the Jotham W. Wakeman School, in Jersey City, Dennis met with Principal Joe Apruzzese and Assistant Principal Lauren Bernero to discuss scheduling, themes, expectations and overall planning for our 10-week cycle.

PS 6 art classrooms now and then:

Dennis took inventory of the art supply closet and organized the 3rd-floor classroom in order for classes to start promptly at 9 AM come Friday morning. He also met with Angela Tardiff (the art teacher) and Tina Barone (school guidance counselor) to further discuss our partnership.

ART YARD BKLYN held its first official inter-state classes this week at PS 6, the Jotham W. Wakeman School, in Jersey City, NJ.

Teaching Artists, Fatima Traore, Sarah Gumgumji and Quentin Williamston, together with Dennis, received big welcomes from students, teachers and administrative staff members and hosted a variety of lessons revolving around the school's centennial anniversary (fitting right into our theme of Transformation).

Quentin, a skilled architect, showed students images of the former PS 6 building (which was located right next door to the current building) from pre-1919 and discussed terms relating to building styles and materials - including the need for a newer building. Photos of the development of the new building were also displayed.

Using acetate sheets, students traced the building images with black fine-point marker and created beautiful pieces. These sheets will be used to project the images (using an overhead projector) onto large sized paper for a mural project. Students were focused and felt tremendously accomplished. Amongst the architectural terms they learned were: archway, masonry and mansard roof.

Dennis offered an orientation to 3 fifth grade classes about our upcoming projects, life in 1919, the advantages of public school education, and covered terms that will be discussed throughout our term at PS 6: portraiture, contemporary and vintage, sepia tone, grayscale, centennial, and naturalistic.

Fatima and Sarah worked closely with students on creating portraits of students from 1919 - explaining fashion sense, hairstyles, probable school regulations as well as shapes of faces, drawing eyes, ears, noses and mouths, adding shading and light. Using pencil and paper, students created portraits of either themselves in 1919, great-great (and maybe great-great-great) grandparents or imaginary students set in the tone of the time.

Discussions revolved around photography, color photography (well, the lack of), school policies and dress codes and what life might have been like for young people in Jersey City twenty years into the beginning of the last century.

Fatima gave excellent demonstrations and all eyes were on her every pencil stroke.

One 5th grade class, also working on portraits, added a contemporary flair to their works. They learned about the artist Kehinde Wiley and his giant portraits and the types of people who were the subjects of his works. In further celebration of the school's anniversary, they chose to create portraits of Jotham W. Wakeman (the school's 1st principal); Mayor Frank Hague (the Jersey City mayor in 1919); President Woodrow Wilson (the US president in 1919) and their modern-day counterparts - Mayor Steven Fulop, Principal Joseph Apruzzese and President Barak Obama (whose portrait by Kehendie Wiley hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC).

As always, first days are generally the start of projects - pencil drafts, discussion, planning and lively critiques.

ART YARD BKLYN is thrilled to be in Jersey City.


While there are many methods of assessment out there these days, I think that the interaction I had this week with our student Blaze Sirius-El is by far one of the best indicators of a job well done. Upon seeing an image of my current painting as it neared completion:

Meridith McNeal, "Inside/Outside: London 1960’s (Red Hook, Brooklyn)", 2019 Ink and watercolor on paper, 72x55”

Blaze responded


Hearty congratulations to Glendalys Medina one of the first recipients of the new Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships program in which 60 Fellowships are being awarded to early-career artists based in Minnesota and New York City.


Perhaps you too want to paint now?

I sure do!

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