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Keeping the "Art Flow" in our community!

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

Following up on our last lesson, in ART YARD Advanced Studio Teaching Artist Ed Rath guided us to look at more still life paintings by Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico. In these seminal works, De Chirico carefully arranges mannequins, architectural structures, and classical statues in timeless, silent, spaces. His awkwardly posed mannequins, with their expressionless wooden heads, personify the emptiness and alienation Europeans felt after World War 1.

After looking at these fascinating images, the class got to work drawing still life set-ups inspired by de Chirico’s oeuvre. Working with black and gray Sumi ink plus one other color, the students investigated how to add warm and cool tones to their high-contrast compositions.

At critique, we questioned the group as to whether or not de Chirico’s work still resonates with artists today; the results speak for themselves.

Evelyn is still at work on her life sized double self portrait with reflection. We were all impressed with the progress she made this week.

During critique Fatima explained how she was inspired by Evelyn's delicate handling of the Sumi ink, and approached her still life painting in a brand-new-to her method of building pale washes.


Our next cohort of students from our partnership school MS 226 in South Ozone Park, Queens traveled with their teacher Ms. Heller to view, consider, discuss and make work inspired by robin holder’s exhibition at Kentler.

These young artists were engaged and thoughtful in their assessment of the exhibition. But perhaps even more telling was the calm, quiet focus in the gallery as everyone carefully worked on their own colored pencil renditions of the work on view.

Ms. Heller pointed out that the opportunity to make art in a quiet environment surrounded by master works is something rarely experienced by a middle-schooler. The obvious focus and excellent results clearly indicate how powerful this opportunity truly is.

Ivania quite rightly noted that our varied colored pencils present a rather diverse result – smooth, soft, waxy, blendable and chalky. All have their merits. It is telling of a deeper understanding of materials when our students grasp this nuance. I consider this conversation an important marker of learning and I intend to get some more of those wonderfully blendable French-made pencils the next time I am at Blick!

This group will return to Kentler next week to complete their drawings and perhaps create a second mixed media collage inspired by the work on view.


Our partnership school in Jersey City, PS 6, had an early dismissal for students on Friday for teachers to attend Collaborative Professional Development sessions. We will be back at the school next week to immerse out talented youngsters in a full day of inspired artmaking.


I have a favor to ask of you all!

You may recall that Appétit Bistro in Port Chester, NY hosted our first ever Les Amis de ART YARD benefit lunch this fall. If you were at the event, you certainly will remember the splendid meal, congenial staff and beautiful space adorned by my French Window Paintings!

Les Amis de ART YARD benefit at Appétit Bistro

Here’s where YOU come in – Appétit Bistro has been nominated in two categories Best Bistro (category #3) and Best Classic Restaurant (category #5) in West Chester. We are so lucky that in addition to the great food and service provided at every meal that Appétit Bistro supports ART YARD!!

Please click this link and vote for this fantastic restaurant & generous supporter of ART YARD!


As you probably know, all ART YARD classes end with participants paying compliments to each other to instill self-confidence, practice presentation skills, and foster a positive environment in which to learn and create.

During a particularly hectic day this week, I received this note from an ART YARD parent. Wow, this compliment sure made my day!

I hope you have a fantastic, art-filled, and inspired weekend,

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