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"Lucy Who??"

The week began on the right foot in ART YARD Advanced Studio on zoom with ART YARD Artist Kevin Anderson presenting a fantastic session titled Gregory Barsamian: Transition and Transformation.

Gregory Barsamian, Feral Fount (still)

Kevin summarizes his lesson: "Throughout my life, I have grown up watching several cartoons, mesmerized by the action, characters, and world unfolding right in front of me. To share my love of animation, I decided to create a lesson centered around the process and to have the community create a piece that signifies transformation and transition. I remembered having visited the Museum of Moving Image in Queens and seeing an old form of animation called the zoetrope. Gregory Barsamian is an artist who creates zoetropes specifically using sculptures, which gave me the perfect opportunity to combine my love of cartoons with an expert in the craft.

Kevin presenting lesson on zoom

"A crucial aspect of my lesson was explaining what animation is and how it is made. First I explained how the zoetrope--one of the oldest forms of animation during the 1800s--created motion in 2D. Using a reel of images with slight variations in position, the contraption can trick the brain into thinking that the image is moving. After analyzing animation in the 2nd dimension, I transitioned to the third. I remembered the classic animated movie Coraline (produced by Lika studios). Similar to Barsamian’s work, the film uses sculptures with slight variations in position and phases to create the illusion of motion. Not only was this a creative tie-in to the lesson, but it was also interesting to learn about a form of animation that I was unfamiliar with. In the end, I found myself with a brand new appreciation for the form. "

Kevin Anderson, Transition and Transformation (in progress)

Many of us thought Vera's hair transformation video a great success. Someone suggested Vera extend the piece by adding a back and forward viewing. While Vera did send in a second version, I can not get it to download. So this is V1.

Vera Tineo, Transition and Transformation

Imala shared that she had a hard time envisioning her artwork. Finally settling on a heart which she plans to transform into a butterfly. Meridith pointed out in critique that the use of a shadow is exactly what Ed referred to a few weeks ago as a new figure in the composition!

Imala Davenport, Transition and Transformation (in progress)

Maraya proved imminently resourceful when using only materials on hand in her new apartment to populate her video. Make sure you have the sound on!

Maraya Lopez, Transition and Transformation

From her residency at the Red Barn Studio Karla compliments: "What a great lesson Kevin! I was very intrigued by the idea of the subconscious and conscious in regard to translating images in sequences. The strobe effect is so similar to how rapidly our “experience and memory images” pop in and out of both dream state and through our days when fully awake!

I selected a series of eyewear photos to represent our visual lenses as they rapidly bring visuals to mind or present view. The hand is a symbol of grasping at or holding memories as we are seeing them or as we reach to remember.

Karla Prickett, Transition and Transformation

Karla compliments: "Maraya and Meridith both captured the “flash” of moving object! Strong concepts of transitions by all!"

Meridith McNeal, Transition and Transformation

Marilyn writes: "I would like to congratulate Kevin on his lesson this week. I have always loved stop motion, claymation, animation, and flip books, so I am happy to have been introduced to Greg Barsamian. Kevin prepared an excellent powerpoint presentation and so well articulated and demonstrated what he envisioned that we do in our working hour. The task was challenging, and it was such fun to see how each artist responded with their artwork."

Marilyn August, Transition and Transformation

Kevin reflects: "At the end of the lesson, I was blown away by the art the community had made. I was surprised to see the different ways the students interpreted the lesson, with each piece interpreting the main themes of transformation and transition in their own way. At the end of the day, I was happy not just with the results, but also with taking a risk and exploring a topic outside of what I had previously taught. I believe this lesson has given me the confidence to try more formats such as this in the future."


Dennis shares news from East New York, Brooklyn: “Wrapping up their works on portraits and Great Wave variations, students at the East New York High School of Arts and Civics looked over their own works as well as their classmates to offer kind compliments during an impromptu mid-session critique.

At work at Arts & Civics

I am always amazed at Teaching Artist Fatima Traore's unique ability to offer personal attention to each student during our double period class to assist and guide. She worked closely with Kurt and Inez to finalize their pieces and helped new student, Angel, with painting techniques. Zian, Rah-nee, Sabrina, Joshua, Andre and others worked diligently throughout the week.”

Fatima working one-on-one with student

Elizabeth’s portrait of Taraji P. Henson

Great Wave Camera by Andre


We are thrilled to be in action at our newest ART YARD Art Matters partnership at PS 17. Managing Director Dennis Buonagura, who oversees all school partnerships, branched out to be the inaugural Teaching Artist for a day of introductory lessons. And what a day it was!!

Dennis teaching

Dennis reports live from Jersey City, NJ: “I had an exciting first day at PS 17, the Joseph Brensinger School, in Jersey City. I conducted 4 introductory classes (1st, 4th, 6th, and 8th grades) in African, Japanese, and indigenous peoples masks and headdresses and how they relate to Julie Taymor's designs for the Broadway production of "The Lion King". Set designs, props, costumes, logos, African patterns, colors, and fabrics, and various types of theatrical masks/headdresses were also discussed. As it was the very first day, students learned how masks might possibly be worn for their production of the musical - above head, covering the face, carried like a Venetian Ball mask, etc. Designs will be presented to the school's principal for approval and decision. Their works will be painted and retained for exhibition and archival purposes - before moving on to actually crafting the masks for the performance. I created a slideshow of sample masks (historical and theatrical) and set designs as inspiration - shown on the smart board in each class room. The lower grades drew some ideas for masks and headdresses.

Image from Dennis's introductory presentation

Powerpoint slide from Dennis's introductory presentation

Inspirational image from Dennis's introductory presentation

During the 6th grade class, I asked students to think about the size and weight of the masks and to consider the fact that performers would need to sing and dance while wearing them. I mentioned "remember how on I Love Lucy, Lucy wore that big headdress that was too heavy and she tumbled down a flight of stairs?". Of course, you know what the next question was .... "Lucy Who??" (grrrrrr). So a student jumped up to the smartboard and googled a clip from that episode and everyone had a good laugh - but then understood why size and weight are important factors.

Dennis has a great "live" version of this photo (a sort of mini video) which I can not figure out how to post:

Watching Lucy navigating a big head piece

During the afterschool program, I worked with a select group of students and teacher Ralph Pyrzanowski on ideas and drafts for set design - backdrops and props, and a logo. Again, drafts will be presented for approval. Pride Rock is in development - so we are on our way!

PS 17 Lion King set designs

1st grade critique of mask drafts was lively - one very complimentary student referred to her classmate’s work as a masterpiece.

PS 17 Lion King mask designs

I also was invited to attend the rehearsal in the auditorium of "The Lion King" - wow, these kids are great. I sat in on the "I Can't Wait To Be King" segment and the dancers were in sync and the student playing Simba was totally on target - as were the dance captains and directors assistants. Director Maya Reyes' guidance was positive and students responded extremely well to her instructions.”

PS 17 Lion King rehearsal in progress, photo Dennis Buonagura

PS 17 Lion King rehearsal in progress, photo Dennis Buonagura


Today in Jersey City at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 Dennis, Evelyn and Sarah had another wildly successful succession of lessons!

Dennis reports: "Our students at PS 6 in Jersey City certainly remember what they've learned from week to week. I start off each class asking a student to recap the lesson from the week prior and tell me what they learned. This week, they all knew the recipes for mixing colors to achieve tones, shades, and tints and then moved forward to complete the monochromatic pieces on inventions to Green Up our world.

Teaching Artist Evelyn Beliveau presents at PS 6

Teaching Artist Evelyn Beliveau's pdf presentations prove to be a vital tool for teaching, learning, and retaining various art terms. Her selections of images also help students tremendously with finding inspiration and with observing comparisons during critique.

PS 6 students at work (use arrows to scroll through photos)

Students finished their monochromatic Green Up pieces and critiques were upbeat and well participated in each class."

Critique in action at PS 6

Dennis adds: "From time to time, ART YARD BKLYN donates books to our partnership schools libraries - books relating to lesson plans hosted at the schools or art discussed or sometimes a random topic brought up in class.

Last week, we donated two books to the PS 6 library. "Six Little Dots: The Story of Louis Braille" (students were fascinated by writing their names in Braille in place of Japanese lettering on their Great Wave pieces) and "Hokusai: He Saw the World in a Wave" (several classes learned about Hokusai and his art).

The teachers of the classes who participated in these lessons were notified in the event that their students might like to be the first to borrow the books.

Newest additions to the library at PS 6!


Other Art News

JOIN US TOMORROW NIGHT Saturday April 1st from 5:30-8pm at FiveMyles Gallery 558 St. Johns Place, Crown Heights, Brooklyn for the artists reception!!!

In addition to my exhibition Inside Outside in the PlusSpace, a two-person exhibition with prints by ART YARD Parent Mildred Beltré and sculpture by Elisa D’Arrigo.

Here is a sneak preview (pre-lighting) of my work:


See you tomorrow night at FiveMyles!!


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